A business colleague of mine commented recently that he supported Communism. He stated it would be fine if he were at the top and thus in control of money and decisions. He mentioned Fidel Castro’s supposed $6 billion that he has in foreign bank accounts. This gentleman understands that not everyone has the same results under Communism.
I make this point to show that the goals of a communistic government were not to solve the problems of the masses as much as to shift control from the existing leaders to the new leaders of the country. The leaders of the former communist countries were not living under the same rules as those they were ruling.
This same principle applies to what we are experiencing in the debate about health insurance reform. The leaders of the movement who want the current bills in Congress to quickly pass are individuals who have a greater interest in shifting control of the health care system than they do in improving the health care system. As proof of this I would like to offer three simple points. Understanding these points makes clear what are the real objectives of the proposed reforms:
1. The fact that only a small portion of the uninsured will be covered by the new bill. Those campaigning for health insurance reform regularly cite that there are more than 45 million uninsured Americans. However, the plans in front of Congress will only insure about 15 million of those. Despite that there is no explanation of how the others will be covered.
2. The proponents say the plan saves money, but in reality it will cost $150 billion a year. It simply must baffle people that this reform is being pitched as getting health care costs under control, but it will increase the deficit by an estimated $150 billion per year over the next ten years. How does that add up? Actually, the head of the Congressional Budget Office (a Democrat) believes the negative impact will be higher. History tells us costs are underestimated at the inception of almost every new government program. When politicians state they are going to control costs by rooting out waste and fraud, you must begin to worry.
3. The proposed bill is 1018 pages. I just finished Ron Chernow’s book on Alexander Hamilton that was close to an 800 pages. It was challenging to read, but comprehensible. Take this book and put it in the terminology that was used in Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and you have the bill approved by the House Committee. This is over a thousand pages of legalese that would definitely challenge almost all who read it -- if anyone would actually commit to do so. In his press conference this past week our President stated this was not about politics. How can a bill over 1,000 pages not be about politics? At the beginning of the press conference he listed goals for the reform of health care. Since almost none of those goals are in the existing bill, Mr. Obama clearly has not read this behemoth either.
Combine these three factors; it will cost us a tremendous amount of money to cover only a relatively small portion of the uninsured in a bill that very few if any comprehend. The average American begins to ask why we are doing this. The answer can only be one thing: the current leaders want to take over the health care system.
The people who are attempting to ram this albatross down our throats have little clue of our circumstances. Most of the drafters have never been an employer or even an employee. They are government wonks who crave power and think they know better than the rest of us. For example, Henry Waxman has spent virtually his entire career as a U.S. Congressman and State Assemblyman. He has had superior government-provided health insurance with little cost to him and thus no concerns. Yet he feels he is eminently qualified to draft and dictate a policy on this issue. In the Senate, Ted Kennedy who has no sense of the struggles of the common man is the main designer of their bill.
Our President asserts his desire to improve the health care system, but why has he allowed Congress to draft such a monstrosity? He may earnestly wish to improve the system, but the evidence stands against him. He can dance around the issue all he wants to, but common sense says this is a naked power grab.
For those who doubt this to be true, please refer to the July 15th editorial in Investor’s Business Daily which speaks to their reading of the bill. It only took them to page 16 to find a clause that would outlaw anyone from taking on a new private policy once the public option is established thus forcing everyone into government-run health care. Anyone can guess what the remainder of the bill will hold for us.
There is a group of people in Congress who are convinced that our health care should be run through the federal government. They have believed this for years and have been waiting for the right majority in Congress and the right person in the White House to enact this legislation. They have ached for this moment. If they are able to capitalize on the moment, we will never be able to turn back the clock.
Certainly since the time of the Truman Administration and maybe FDR Administration the Democrats have been attempting to nationalize health care. Until this time they have succeeded in having 50% of health care dollars running through government hands. This is an attempt in one bold stroke to move the other 50% under government control.
I am convinced however that the average American will see through this charade for what it is and make sure the reasonable members of our Congress put a knife in the heart of this ill-conceived plan. People understand that should this pass, they will get inferior care at a higher cost while the designers of this plan will get superior care at no cost at all to them.
Do not mistake the fact that real reforms are not necessary to help control the costs we all bear. Republicans have made suggestions for real reform among them portability, interstate insurance sales and tort reform. Effective health insurance reform can be crafted. It is just that this current reform will not provide the needed result.
As my business colleague said, Communism is great if you make the laws and control the money. Unfortunately, you and I are going to be waiting in line while the people who stuck us with this will be getting their doctors making house calls.