Monday, April 5, 2010

President Obama on Passing Healthcare Reform - “This is what change looks like.”

When I saw the television news late Sunday night just after the House passed the historic and controversial bill overhauling health care in America with President Obama stating “This is what change looks like.”, my first reaction was: The Democrats and President Obama alone own this “change” having just passed the largest social welfare bill in decades without a single Republican House vote. My first thoughts were: Wasn’t health care reform supposed to be about lowering health care premiums and therefore providing better health care availability and access for the insured and uninsured? I know the reform the majority of Americans thought they were going to get did not come with a new IRS army to enforce a mandate upon them and higher cost in both taxes and premiums. This bill is not only useless, but harmful, for it does nothing at all to address the underlying cost of health care services let alone the rising cost.

Add huge tax increases, continued rising premiums, 159 new government agencies, IRS enforcement, and Americans were actually better off without this health care reform. Add to the equation significant deficit increases with what will amount to more future unfunded liabilities (no matter what is touted and promised to the contrary) and America itself was better off without this health care reform.

This bill was passed against the will of the American people with polls and town hall meetings for several months reflecting the people did not want this massive bill as the health care reform they feel is needed. This bill was mainly written behind closed doors without the transparency that was promised by Obama in his presidential campaign and with numerous backroom deals to special interests and Democrat legislators. Even the legislative process used seemed desperate and below even the appearance of seeking bi-partisan participation and support. And heaven knows, legislators not fully reading the bills they are voting on before voting on them has unfortunately become the acceptable standard now in Washington.

Is this the kind of ‘change’ that is now the “standard” for the Obama administration to pass its other agenda item legislation like immigration reform, cap and trade, card check, and more stimulus? Is this change revising “Washington as usual” promised by Obama, or is this change just encouraging the worst of Washington as usual on steroids, because now the ends justify the means on steroids? The Obama administration using the reported “This is about the success of the Obama presidency.” as a selling point to Democrat legislators can only be seen as the extreme arrogance and narcissism that would mean as a selling point in the face of reform supposed to being about helping Americans. Are Democrats completely oblivious to the legitimate concerns of average Americans at all income levels of the growing size of government and the massive spending and increased national deficit? This legislation does nothing but grow government at all levels and increase taxes, spending and the deficit ultimately. The needed health care reform could and should have been about allowing more access and lowering costs without these excessive negatives and assault on American liberty.

I was taken by Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comments on the House floor before the vote. She pointed to this health care legislation as being in the vein of the historic Social Security and Medicare measures in past years. Earth to Nancy, both of these programs has not lived up to what was fiscally promised to the American people when they were passed. It is common knowledge both of these programs have exceeded the initial estimates of cost by trillions of dollars and are going bankrupt with trillions of dollars of unfunded liabilities. Further, she kept referring to the deficit reduction of $138 billion over 10 years with this legislation like a GM car salesman on a car lot insisting that of course the specific car they are tying to sell you will never have any recalls like Toyota did as long as you own the car.

Speaker Pelosi, President Obama, and the Democrats voting to pass this legislation are only kidding themselves and trying to fool the American public with regard to this legislation only costing $962 billion for 10 years and not running any deficits. In just simple math (not taking into account all the new taxes on non-health care related things going into paying for this health care reform or the supposed savings from the federal government taking over the student loan industry), if you add the $200 billion Dr. Fix to the total and don’t count the $500 billion in Medicare cuts as savings since this money is in reality being spent on the new health care entitlement, this legislation actually has a minimum of a $562 billion deficit spending total for the first 10 years. In addition, anyone with half a brain would find taxing for 10 years to pay for 6 years of benefits equivalent to a trick question on a second grade math quiz.

For a group that likes to hold up other big spending social programs as success stories, they obviously are not realistically looking to recent similar health care programs mandated at the state level. Why have they not touted the “success” of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island state health care reform programs? Simply put, because neither of these state programs are success stories in terms of lowering annual premium increases and staying within the estimated cost when passed. They are in fact bankrupting either state as this legislation will bankrupt us nationally. And again, it is common knowledge the existing Medicaid programs in every state has out of control cost increases every year. The only way states seek to pay for the existing Medicaid program is to continue to raise taxes and limit enrollment or benefits. Many doctors in all states have limited the Medicaid (and often Medicare) patients they will take as a part of their practice to remain solvent. Hospitals that are forced to take Medicaid, Medicare, and non-paying patients charge paying or insured patients $10 per aspirin or go bankrupt and close. How does this health care reform legislation change any of this for Americans with regard to lowering cost to an affordable level and ensuring better medical access?

So, this is what President Obama’s “Change” actually looks like in reality as noted by President Obama himself on Sunday evening. It is legislation that pushed through an increased entitlement agenda without any regard to fiscal responsibility or honesty, or that actually lowered health care costs. It is legislation full of new taxes being imposed for four years before full benefits take effect on already weaken businesses and Americans in a recession. It is legislation with penalties on Americans that do not buy a product or businesses that do not provide a product as demanded by the federal government. It is health care reform enforced by adding thousands of employees to the IRS, and health care reform administered by adding 159 new bureaucracies to the federal government and the lives of Americans. It is health care reform that provides a new entitlement to some in America by redefining the definition of “low income” to be those at 400% of the poverty level. This new entitlement is funded in part by redirecting $500 billion in funding away from the seniors on Medicare in America and calling this a savings in Medicare and deficit spending as noted earlier in their fuzzy $138 billion savings math. In reality, this legislation will ultimately deny medical care to millions by nature of the intended consequences of granting health care procedures and treatment to whom the government deems worthy according to its cost and warrant guidelines in the end. It is the take over of the health care industry in the United States by the federal government. It may or may not be the first step to a single-payer Universal Health C are, which many leading Democrats have already espoused, but the current legislation is a heavy and expensive hand already in what was a free market.

But then, to be fair, Obama did say he was for income redistribution via increased social justice entitlement programs and fundamentally transforming America in his Presidential campaign. The majority of voters and the press ignored the true ramifications of his plans during his campaign, mainly because they wanted to be a part of and push an “historic” presidency. I think the Democrats in Congress did the same thing with this health care reform legislation for the same reason. They wanted to be a part of and push an “historic” piece of legislation. And now, the Democrats will own this legislation with all its new taxes, higher unemployment, higher premiums, higher health care costs, and IRS enforcement of a mandated product for decades of elections to come. And Obama owns the “change” and what it actually looks like in reality - legislation resulting from the ugliest process in the history of America filled with schemes, lies, threats, backroom deals, special interest, pay-offs, partisanship, fiscal tricks, slipping in an additional non-health care related industry takeover, politicizing liberty, demonizing free enterprise, disregarding constituents’ expressed desires, and treading on the U.S. Constitution in intent and spirit.

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