Posts Tagged ‘Healthcare reform’

The posting of this video is in no way showing support for health care reform, it just shows that Bill O’Reilly will say anything.

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End the Mandate
By Ron Paul
Last week I introduced a very important piece of legislation that I hope will gain as much or more support as my Audit the Fed bill. HR 4995, the End the Mandate Act will repeal provisions of the newly passed health insurance reform bill that give the government the power to force Americans to purchase government-approved health insurance.

The whole bill is rotten, but this provision especially is a blatant violation of the Constitution. Defenders claim the Congress’s constitutional authority to regulate “interstate commerce” gives it the power to do this. However, as Judge Andrew Napolitano and other distinguished legal scholars and commentators have pointed out, even the broadest definition of “regulating interstate commerce” cannot reasonably encompass forcing Americans to engage in commerce by purchasing health insurance. Not only is it unconstitutional; it is a violation of the basic freedom to make our own decisions regarding how best to meet the health care needs of ourselves and our families.

The new law requires Americans to have what is defined as “minimum essential coverage.” Some people may claim that the requirement to have “minimal essential coverage” does not impose an unreasonable burden on Americans. There are two problems with this claim. First, the very imposition of a health insurance mandate, no matter how “minimal,” violates the principles of individual liberty upon which this country was founded.

Second, the mandate is unlikely to remain “minimal” for long. The experience of states that allow their legislatures to mandate what benefits health insurance plans must cover has shown that politicizing health insurance inevitably makes it more expensive. As the cost of government-mandated health insurance rises, Congress will likely respond by increasing subsidies for more and more Americans, adding astronomically to our debt burden. An insurance mandate undermines the entire principle of what insurance is supposed to measure — risk.

Another likely response to rising costs is the imposition of price controls on medical treatments, and limits on what procedures and treatments mandatory insurance will have to reimburse. This is happening in other countries where government is intrinsically involved in these decisions and people suffer and die because of it.

This will only increase the bottom line of the very insurers the legislation was supposed to control. Meanwhile, alternate methods of healthcare delivery and financing, such as concierge doctors, alternative medicine, or physician owned hospitals will be greatly harmed, if not put out of business altogether, when the entire country is forced into the insurance model. It will be difficult for families to come up with extra money to pay for alternate healthcare of their choice when their budget has been squeezed by this mandate to buy insurance. This will in turn reduce competition for healthcare dollars. Health insurers, like many other corporations in other industries, have now used the legislative process anti-competitively to corner the healthcare market. Instead of calling this socialized medicine, we should call it corporatized medicine, since the reform is to force us all into being customers of these corporations, whether we like it or not.

Congress made a grave error by forcing all Americans to purchase health insurance. The mandate violates fundamental principles of individual liberty, and will lead to further government involvement in health care. It is time for legislation that fights back for the freedom of the people on this issue. It is time to End the Mandate.

Healthcare Reform Passes
By Ron Paul
Following months of heated public debate and aggressive closed-door negotiations, Congress finally cast a historic vote on healthcare late Sunday evening. It was truly a sad weekend on the House floor as we witnessed further dismantling of the Constitution, disregard of the will of the people, explosive expansion of the reach of government, unprecedented corporate favoritism, and the impending end of quality healthcare as we know it.

Those in favor of this bill touted their good intentions of ensuring quality healthcare for all Americans, as if those of us against the bill are against good medical care. They cite fanciful statistics of deficit reduction, while simultaneously planning to expand the already struggling medical welfare programs we currently have. They somehow think that healthcare in this country will be improved by swelling our welfare rolls and cutting reimbursement payments to doctors who are already losing money. It is estimated that thousands of doctors will be economically forced out of the profession should this government fuzzy math actually try to become healthcare reality. No one has thought to ask what good mandatory health insurance will be if people can’t find a doctor.

Legislative hopes and dreams don’t always stand up well against economic realities.

Frustratingly, this legislation does not deal at all with the real reasons access to healthcare is a struggle for so many — the astronomical costs. If tort reform was seriously discussed, if the massive regulatory burden on healthcare was reduced and reformed, if the free market was allowed to function and apply downward pressure on healthcare costs as it does with everything else, perhaps people wouldn’t be so beholden to insurance companies in the first place. If costs were lowered, more people could simply pay for what they need out of pocket, as they were able to do before government got so involved. Instead, in the name of going after greedy insurance companies, the federal government is going to make people even more beholden to them by mandating that everyone buy their product! Hefty fines are due from anyone found to have committed the heinous crime of not being a customer of a health insurance company. We will need to hire some 16,500 new IRS agents to police compliance with all these new mandates and administer various fines. So in government terms, this is also a jobs bill. Never mind that this program is also likely to cost the private sector some 5 million jobs.

Of course, the most troubling aspect of this bill is that it is so blatantly unconstitutional and contrary to the ideals of liberty. Nowhere in the constitution is there anything approaching authority for the Federal government to do any of this. The founders would have been horrified at the idea of government forcing citizens to become consumers of a particular product from certain government approved companies. 38 states are said to already be preparing legal and constitutional challenges to this legislation, and if the courts stand by their oaths, they will win. Protecting the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, should be the court’s responsibility. Citizens have a responsibility over their own life, but they also have the liberty to choose how they will live and protect their lives. Healthcare choices are a part of liberty, another part that is being stripped away. Government interference in healthcare has already infringed on choices available to people, but rather than getting out of the way, it is entrenching itself, and its corporatist cronies, even more deeply.

It’s been almost a year since President Obama started his initiative for healthcare reform, and the foundation is crumbling.  Republicans, bless their hearts, have stood against health care reform because Obama’s plan changes nothing.

With 75% of the American people opposing healthcar reform and the Obama administration coming up with an array of ideas to pass socialism, Democrats are beginning to abandon the president’s bill. 

With President Obama leaving for secret talks in Copenhagen and Washington D.C. covered in a blanket of snow Senate Democrats won a major victory in conducting a test vote at 1 a.m.  The sixty to forty margin is enough to shut down a threatened GOP filibuster.

Today we are closer than we’ve ever been to making Sen. Ted Kennedy’s dream of universal health insurance coverage a reality,” Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa said.

This makes me want to puke.  It is without question that many of the Democrats who probably didn’t read this bill – and who would want to read an over exaggerated 1,990 page bill – cast their vote simply in favor of “reformed health care” based on the memory of Ted Kennedy.  Many of the career politicians in Congress don’t have their own mind to think with.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, the only Republican to support the bill in committee, was called to the White House to meet with President Obama  said she was “extremely disappointed” in what she called little time for her to review, much less amend the bill.  I’ve got a question – if you’re worried about the little time you have in reviewing a bill – why vote for it?

How do you like having mandatory health insurance?  In what Judge Andrew Napolitano surmised is legislation with the authority to fine, prosecute, or even throw you in jail for refusing to buy health insurance.  In taking a line from the movie JFK I say “when looks like it, acts like it, feels like it; you call it what it is – fascism!”

The passage of this bill still has challenges it needs to go through and some are speculating its survival based on differences between the House and Senate.  Let us pray these matters aren’t resolved.

This bill clearly calls for higher and hidden taxes, more borrowing and more spending in a time when the government should be cutting costs and taxes instead of increasing them.  Both bills in the House and Senate, which have their differences, both cost about $1 trillion of the next ten years.  To fund this Obama is proposing tax and fee increases and cuts to Medicare spending.  They’re saying it right here!  Taxes are going to go up.  The cost of health care is going to go up.  And the medical care provided to seniors is going to be cut.

With all the additions that congressman and senators want to throw in at the last-minute, the once 1,990 page bill is now 2,074 pages.  One word comes to mind – ridiculous.

There will be a day of accounting, warned John Cornyn, R-Texas, accusing Democrats of pushing a health overhaul opposed by the public. Perhaps the first day of accounting will be Election Day 2010.

I don’t much trust the Republicans any more than I do the Democrats, but if this is what the twenty-first century Democrat wants to do – then I say let the day of accounting come!

Thanks to Nebraska’s Democratic Sentor Ben Nelson to deliver the deciding sixtieth vote in favor of healthcare reform Obama says that the U.S. is “on the cusp of making healthcare reform a reality”.

Furthering the gloating Obama said “it now appears the American people will have the vote they deserve”.  Indeed.  According to USA Today in an article posted 7/14/2009 fifty-six percent want healthcare reform, thirty-three percent oppose, and twelver percent abstain from opinion.  The link: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-07-13-poll-health-care_N.htm

But maybe the people are wising up the the government’s falicies.  According to a Gallup pole in November fifty percent oppose government sponsored healthcare reform, while support for the initiative has gone down to forty-seven percent.  http://logisticsmonster.com/2009/11/13/new-gallup-poll-americans-now-think-healthcare-is-not-governments-role/

While Democrats can make compelling arguements in support of this bill, Republicans call the overhaul of Healthcare a “train wreck”.  Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called the bill, “This bill is a legislative train wreck of historic proportions.”  McConnell condemned the bill for cuts to Medicare, hospices, and raiseing taxes in time of double digit unemployment.

I find it kind of comical and typical of the liberal media establishment for posting an article that limits the debate of healthcare by devoting ninety percent of the article to “why we need medical reform”, and only grants a small portion “why we shouldn’t”.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34488616/ns/health-health_care//

By Kevin Drawbaugh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama‘s U.S. healthcare overhaul plan has cleared an important Senate hurdle but lawmakers warned on Sunday of challenges ahead in winning support for passage, even among Obama’s own Democrats.

On Saturday, Senate Democrats gathered the 60 votes needed to open floor debate on the plan, which would make the biggest changes in the $2.5 trillion healthcare system in 40 years. It is the Obama administration’s top domestic policy initiative.

No Republicans backed the procedural motion and a handful of conservative Democrats, whose votes were crucial, supported the floor debate but remained uncommitted to the bill itself.

One of those was Democratic Senator Ben Nelson, who said on Sunday that he could not support the plan without big changes.

“If there are a whole host of other items that are the same as they are right now, I wouldn’t vote to get it off the floor,” Nelson said on the ABC’s “This Week” news program.

Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman, usually an ally of the majority Democrats, said he could not support the bill either if the “public option” — for a government-run health insurance plan to compete with private firms — stays in the bill.

“I don’t think anybody feels this bill … will pass” as written, Lieberman said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program.

Debate will begin on November 30 and is expected to last at least three weeks.

The “public option” component of the bill is negotiable, Senator Richard Durbin, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, said on NBC on Sunday, adding the Senate bill “must” get passed by the end of 2009.

If it goes into 2010, with other issues such as financial regulation reform and mid-term elections vying for attention, “it gets more complex,” he said. “We’re anxious to get it done.”

The House of Representatives has passed its own version. Differences between Senate and House versions would have to be reconciled in January before Obama could sign a final measure.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said it was wrong to link healthcare legislation and Monday’s controversial recommendation by an independent task force against routine mammograms for women in their 40s.

“Republicans who deliberately conflate or confuse the two only confirm just how desperate they are to distract the American people from the real debate — and from the fact that they have no vision for fixing our broken health care system.

“There will be nothing in our bill to discourage or prohibit preventive treatments — quite the opposite, in fact. And as a result, our historic reforms, like mammograms, will save lives,” he said.

The Senate bill would expand coverage to millions of the uninsured and it would bar insurers from denying coverage over preexisting conditions. It also would require virtually all Americans to buy insurance and set up exchanges to shop for healthcare coverage. 

While offering subsidies to help low-income workers afford coverage, the plan also would raise the payroll tax on high-income workers that finances the Medicare system that provides for the elderly. It also would impose a tax on high-cost “Cadillac” insurance plans.

Republicans have vowed to delay or block the bill, which they say is a costly government intrusion in the private sector that would raise premiums, reduce choices and increase taxes.

“The bill is fundamentally flawed … It puts big costs onto states,” said Republican Senator Lamar Alexander on the “Fox News Sunday” program. “If the American people know that, the bill will collapse of its own weight.”

Pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer Inc and Merck & Co Inc and insurers such as UnitedHealth Group Inc and WellPoint Inc> are spending hundreds of