Larry Elder

Americans overwhelmingly like their health care and their health insurance. While Americans reject ObamaCare, the President and Congress insist on driving it through.

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Most Americans, up to 85 percent, already have health insurance and are satisfied with it. Lacking health insurance is different from lacking health care -- which, by law, emergency rooms must supply. Millions go without health insurance by choice and not due to lack of resources. Deduct from the number without insurance those who have access to it via entitlement programs, those temporarily without it while between jobs, those here illegally and those who could go on their parents' insurance plans by paying affordable amounts -- and you're down to 10 million to 15 million people without health insurance for longer than a year. This represents 5 percent of Americans.

To address this, the President and the Democrats are this close to a complete government takeover of health care. And a takeover it is. Assuming some kind of plan reaches the President's desk, it will -- at minimum -- force all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay fines or worse. It will force nearly all employers to provide health insurance or pay fines. It will tell health insurers that they must accept applicants with pre-existing illnesses and restrict their ability to "discriminate" based on factors like sex and age.

Incredibly, the President and Congress tell us that our economic recovery hinges on "health care reform" and that they can achieve it -- providing millions of people with health insurance estimated to cost a trillion dollars in the first decade -- while simultaneously reducing the deficit. The plan anticipates cutting hundreds of billions from the popular Medicare programs, whose beneficiaries vote in numbers greater than any other age group. Doctors and hospitals already complain that Medicare reimbursements fall short of costs, let alone profits. Good luck with that.

"Health care reform" achieves its deficit-reducing magic by collecting taxes in the early years -- building up money -- while paying out very little. Only after the first four years does money go out. It also forces states to pick up part of the tab. So, voila, it actually reduces the deficit -- at least in the first decade.


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.


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