The true realities of health care reform
July 31, 2009
To the Editor:
I was disappointed to read the opinion piece Monday about perceived realities of health care reform. Unfortunately, it trotted out many of same sound bites that liberal lawmakers have been reciting to veil the actual realities hidden in this debate and try to create a “sense of urgency” to rush through very flawed legislation.
For example, the bogey man figure of 40 million uninsured has been shown to be extremely misleading. When distilled down to U.S. citizens who actually do not have access to health-care coverage, the real number is probably a fourth or less of this figure. In fact, recent polls show that the vast majority of Americans like their current health care.
Another reality is that the government’s own internal watchdog agency has concluded that the proposed legislation, at a cost of $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion, would not lower health care costs, but rather may have a greater potential to increase them. The current bills also attempt to cynically dodge the high cost issue by, with a wink and nod, signaling that you won’t be paying it, someone else will (i.e., those who already pay the lion’s share of this country’s taxes). It is naive to believe that there will not be an adverse impact on all of us as these costs trickle down.
Perhaps, one of the most revealing realities in this debate is that it is a block of moderate Democrat lawmakers (not Republicans) who are the ones putting the brakes on the present misdirected reform proposals. This group (again, not Republicans) is trying to slow down the process to give Americans a chance to digest the issues. They want the current proposals modified to ensure, contrary to the likely effect of those proposals, that health care costs are not too expensive for small business, government costs are kept down, a federally funded plan does not unfairly compete with private plans and health care subsidies be reserved to those lower-income Americans who truly require it.
If they are willing to defy their own party’s leadership in Congress, perhaps we should follow their cue and take a hard look at the proposed legislation and the underlying realities of that legislation.