Not This Health Care Reform
The following is the text of an e-mail I sent to various newspapers as a letter to the editor...
All of the current plans for health care reform proposed by the U.S. House and Senate are fatally flawed in a number of respects and should be opposed.
First of all, they are unconstitutional. Under the enumerated powers of the federal government in the U.S. Constitution, health care is NOT listed. The founding fathers never intended to "promote the general welfare" by having the government take over 1/6th of the entire U.S. economy.
Furthermore, the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to market ANY product, or to mandate that U.S. citizens PURCHASE any product under threat of fines and imprisonment. If and when such legislation is brought before the U.S. Supreme Court, these provisions will be struck down.
Second, it will not achieve its originally intended purpose, that is, to provide all Americans with affordable health care coverage. If it is less expensive, young healthy people who do not want coverage will pay a fine in lieu of purchasing health care. This will defeat the concept of "risk spreading", and insurance companies will raise premiums.
Third, it will drive insurance companies out of business. If insurance companies are forced to accept pre-existing conditions, deny coverage to no one for any reason, and abide by federal price guidelines, they will not be able to make a reasonable profit. They will not be able to compete against a federal government which is under no obligations to make a profit, and which can print money to fund its deficit spending. The government will become a monopoly player and ultimately a single-payer system.
Fourth, it will be extremely expensive and will add to the budget deficit. All this talk about health care reform being deficit neutral is utter nonsense, and its proponents in Congress know it. You cannot add 30-40 million people onto the health care roles, and not spend any more money. It's simply ludicrous to imagine.
Very few federal entitlement programs have ever cost just what the CBO said they would cost. In virtually all cases, actual costs were multiple times higher than the original projections (up to 100 times higher). These deficits will destroy the U.S. economy.
Fifth, this legislation will restrict choices, ration health care, and reduce the quality of life in the United States. The health care systems in Canada and Great Britain are perfect examples of what life in the U.S. will deteriorate into. The federal government will establish formulas for how much health care an individual can receive each year, the value of each person's life (young people are more valuable than the elderly), and what tests or drugs or procedures can be provided. People will die as a result.
Sixth, these plans will create huge new federal bureaucracies. These bureaucracies can only be paid for by new taxes and/or reduced services. Continued tax increases will crush economic recovery and drive the economy back into a recession or worse, a depression. Unemployment will continue to increase.
Seventh, the federal government does not run anything very well. The Post Office is broke. Amtrak is broke. Social Security is going broke -- again. Medicare is broke. Medicaid is broke. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are broke. The federal government was largely responsible for the global financial crisis. The stimulus plan isn't stimulating. The public school system is not working -- otherwise President Obama would not be saying we need education reform. We do not need 1/6th of the entire U.S. economy to be broke.
Eighth, there are alternative plans that should be considered. Simpler, less expensive methods can be employed to achieve important goals. The government can enhance competition in the free market by permitting insurance companies to sell across state lines. The government can mandate that insurance companies accept pre-existing conditions. The government can even subsidize those who cannot afford health insurance. All of these things would be far cheaper than what is now being proposed.
The current plans are a disaster. We can do better.