Daily Archives: September 9, 2009

Reaction to the Presidential Address on Health Care by Gregory Hilton

Earlier tonight President Obama addressed a Joint Session of Congress on health care policy. My reaction was as follows:
Mr. President: If we spend more than all other countries, and we aren’t any healthier, then why do you want us to spend another $1 trillion?
The President said: “We believe that less than 5 percent of people will sign up” for the public option. The same figure was used in Massachusetts when they initiated a government plan. The $100 million budget three years ago is now over $700 million. If only 5 percent of the people are going to sign up is there really a crisis? How does the U.S. Government legally charter a non-profit company that uses no taxpayer funds under the public option?
The President said: “30 million Americans can’t get coverage.” Two weeks ago he was claiming it was 48 million.
“If Americans can’t find affordable coverage, we will provide you with a choice.”
Why can’t we give the uninsured vouchers and let them shop?
“I will not sign a plan that adds a dime to the deficit, now or in the future. . . We can pay for this plan with savings.”
The plan is already projected to cost $948 billion over ten years. How are you going to find an almost $1 trillion in savings? Will it be done by rationing care? Will it be done by cutting $622 billion from Medicare and Medicaid.
The President continued to ignore tort reform. We definitely need serious reforms and the best alternative is the Patients’ Choice Act. This addresses the issue of affordability without rationing care or adding to the debt. It is estimated to save us $960 billion during the next decade.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) described the need for transparency: “To understand how much government is already interfering with your health care, imagine if when you wanted to buy a new car, but all of the auto company websites had been disabled and you were directed to a third-party site set up by Congress that buried basic information about automobile features and price. Then imagine that if you lived in New Jersey you must buy certain features, however costly, but if you lived in California you had to buy another set of features. Then imagine that Congress set up a system where you did not really shop for your car at all because your employer and the government took care of the details.”
Burr says the Patients Choice Act will: “Shift decision-making authority in health care away from government and health insurance bureaucrats and back to individuals. Specifically, we would shift health care tax benefits to individuals and families in the form of a tax rebate worth $2,200 for individuals and $5,700 for families. Under our plan, if you like the health care you have, you can keep it — but you will have more money in your pocket because you will still receive a tax rebate.”