The Democrats' most recent answer to the question of how they will pay for their trillion-dollar health-care reform was just announced by Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel. He wants to impose a surtax on incomes over $280,000, which would be a staggering blow to small businesses that create most jobs.
Another option floated by the Democrats is to tax employer-sponsored health coverage. Obama-supporter and union boss James P. Hoffa calls this "a bitter, bitter pill for middle-class wage-earners" and has vowed to fight it.
The real purpose of Obama's health care "reform" is to seize control of another major industry (health care) and move us rapidly into socialism. The Democrats' plan involves mandates to force individuals to buy insurance, employers to provide insurance and private insurance to offer an expensive list of benefits.
Instead of allowing insurance to compete by offering different benefit packages, the Democrats are considering insurance mandates to cover exotic benefits that individuals may not want to buy, such as in-vitro fertilization, hair transplants, rehab services, hearing aids, sex-change operations, prescription drugs, abortions, mental health and substance-abuse programs.
The Democrats intend to prohibit low-cost policies for catastrophic care. They want to bar you from buying cheaper insurance in other states.
The Democrats intend to impose community rating on a federal level, which means all customers will be offered the same rates regardless of age, obesity, smoking or other lifestyle differences. This forces young people to subsidize older patients.
The Democrats intend to launch a "public option" to compete with private insurance. Government subsidies for the public option would soon drive private insurance out of business and become the "single-payer" (government plan) that the liberals really want.
Obama promised that if you like your current insurance, you can keep it -- but that option will soon be gone under Obama reform. Your employer could cancel his company-paid insurance (because it's cheaper to pay a fine, instead), or your insurance (because it can't compete with government subsidized insurance) could cancel your company.
Obama's choice of White House health czar Nancy-Ann DeParle shows the conflicts of interest that surround many of his appointments. In the past three years, she pocketed $5.8 million from her work for major medical companies ($2.3 million from serving on the boards of six firms to be affected by the health-care bill, and $3.5 million from director's fees, stock sales and awards from health-care firms).
DeParle was paid $471,000 as a member of the board of directors of Cerner, a leading developer of electronic medical records systems. Cerner has already boasted that it is well-positioned to take advantage of Obama's push to modernize medical records (for which $19 billion was allocated in the stimulus law).
Modernizing health-care records means putting all your health-care information on computers where it will be accessible to government bureaucrats to help them decide the comparative effectiveness of proposed tests and treatments in relation to your age and health (a.k.a. rationing). Private information can leak out and be used against you by employers, prospective employers, health and life insurance, ex-spouses or political opponents.
The elephant in the Obama health-care room may be abortion. Time Magazine is asking the explosive question: Will Obama's national health care cover abortions?
The majority of Americans do not want their tax dollars to pay for abortions. Because of the Supreme Court decision in Harris v. McRae upholding the Hyde Amendment, federally paid health care (such as Medicaid) does not now cover abortions.
Hillary Clinton, the National Abortion Federation, Planned Parenthood and NARAL are already bragging that nationalized health care will include abortion. Feminists believe that abortion should be covered just like an appendectomy.
Unless it is excluded, abortions will be covered by national health care, thus making the taxpayers pay for hundreds of thousands of abortions every year. That's why 19 pro-life Democrats, organized by Rep. David Boren, D-Okla., sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi warning that they "cannot support any health-care-reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health-insurance plan."
The Obama plan will permanently put unaccountable bureaucrats (who have never treated a patient) in charge of decisions about if and when you can get the procedures and treatments you and your doctor believe are necessary.
Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., believes this is "a make-or-break moment for Americans" and a battle we can and must win. As a physician, he reminds us that we can't effectively treat a problem unless we get the diagnosis right, and the Democrats have misdiagnosed the problem as too little rather than too much government intervention.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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