The Massachusetts plan is a fiscal disaster, costing far more than estimated, with no end in sight. Massachusetts is wealthier than most states, but this plan threatens to bankrupt even it.
The Massachusetts plan forces people to buy insurance under threat of having to pay a penalty on their income tax return. Kennedy's staff has been quietly meeting with the insurance industry to make sure it will be just as happy with a national version of mandatory insurance as it is in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts politicians had promised voters not to worry about costs because the state would collect $95 million in fees in the first year from small businesses that do not insure their employees. But those fees were never collected because small businesses cannot afford this, and taxpayers are forced to ante up that shortfall.
Massachusetts taxpayers were not told that this plan forces public funding for abortion by anyone who wants one, not only the poor. Kennedy's plan will likely try to force Americans nationwide to pay for all abortions as the Massachusetts plan does, perhaps by regulations if not by statute.
Massachusetts medical care is beginning to look like Canada, where waiting lists, rationing and travel to foreign countries for care have become the norm. Meanwhile, members of Congress continue to enjoy special gold-plated health care not available to most Americans.
Former Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle, who is a high-paid health-care consultant for a lobbying firm, is expected to be appointed secretary of health and human services. He is holding town hall meetings this month to create the illusion of public support for the Kennedy plan.
As HHS secretary, Daschle will write the regulatory details that Congress doesn't dare put in the proposed statute. So much for Obama's promise to change Washington, eliminate the influence of lobbyists and avoid conflicts of interest!
Obama is planning to use his giant campaign database to pressure Congress into speedy action. Americans will have to protest quickly if they want to prevent the mandatory and expensive Massachusetts plan from being forced on the country.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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