Former Governor Sarah Palin points out smoke and mirrors in Obama administration plans and presents workable options on how to effect needed health care change.
1. The Senate Finance Committee health care bill is structured so that it is cheaper to pay the fine and not buy health insurance until a big ticket health crisis occurs in your life. This will result in less people being covered and higher costs.
"However, the maximum fine for those who refuse to purchase health insurance is $750. Even factoring in government subsidies, the cost of purchasing a plan is much more than $750. The result: many people, especially the young and healthy, will simply not buy coverage, choosing to pay the fine instead. They’ll wait until they’re sick to buy health insurance, confident in the knowledge that insurance companies can’t deny them coverage. Such a scenario is a perfect storm for increasing the cost of health care and creating an unsustainable mandate program."2. Cutting Medicare and taxing high value health care plans, insurers, drug companies, labs, etc., will end up as a huge tax increase on the middle class and lower their wages.
"As Douglas Holtz-Eakin noted in the Wall Street Journal, these new taxes 'will be passed on to consumers by either directly raising insurance premiums, or by fueling higher health-care costs that inevitably lead to higher premiums.' Unfortunately, it will lead to lower wages too, as employees will have to sacrifice a greater percentage of their paychecks to cover these higher premiums. . . . The Senate Finance bill is effectively a middle class tax increase, and as Holtz-Eakin points out, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation those making less than $200,000 will be hit hardest."3. President Obama's promise not to sign a health care bill that will "add even one dime" to the nation's debt is in line with previous promises that if the stimulus bill were passed, unemployment would be kept under 8% and 3 to 4 million jobs would be created or saved. None of it happened. In fact, things got a lot worse.
"With our country’s debt and deficits growing at an alarming rate, many of us can’t help but wonder how we can afford a new trillion dollar entitlement program. The president has promised that he won’t sign a health care bill if it 'adds even one dime to our deficit over the next decade.' But his administration also promised that his nearly trillion dollar stimulus plan would keep the unemployment rate below 8%. Last month, our unemployment rate was 9.8%, the highest it’s been in 26 years. At first the current administration promised that the stimulus would save or create 3 to 4 million jobs. Then they declared that it created 1 million jobs, but the stimulus reports released this week showed that a mere 30,083 jobs have been created, while nearly 3.4 million jobs have been lost since the stimulus was passed. Should we believe the administration’s claims about health care when their promises have proven so unreliable about the stimulus?"4. President Obama's promise of open negotiations with health care lobbyists is also a casualty.
"In January 2008, presidential candidate Obama promised not to negotiate behind closed doors with health care lobbyists. In fact, he committed to 'broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are. Because part of what we have to do is enlist the American people in this process. And overcoming the special interests and the lobbyists...' However, last February, after serving only a few weeks in office, President Obama met privately at the White House with health care industry executives and lobbyists. Yesterday, POLITICO reported that aides to President Obama and Democrat Senator Max Baucus met with corporate lobbyists in April to help 'set in motion a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign, primarily financed by industry groups, that has played a key role in bolstering public support for health care reform.' Needless to say, their negotiations were not broadcast on C-SPAN for the American people to see."5. Same thing with Obama's promise that non-emergency bills would be posted for public comment five days before being signed. Didn't happen.
"Presidential candidate Obama also promised that he would not 'sign any nonemergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House Web site for five days.' PolitiFact reports that this promise has already been broken three times by the current administration. We can only hope that it won’t be broken again with health care reform."Palin gives suggestions for how to achieve health care reform without breaking the budget. No subsidies, public option, or nationalized health care.
Put in tort reform. Though "a Congressional Budget Office report confirmed that reforming medical malpractice and liability laws could save as much as $54 billion over the next ten years, tort reform is nowhere to be found in the Senate Finance bill."
Embrace free market competition, allow purchase of plans across state lines, give individuals who purchase health plans the same tax benefits as those with employer paid plans. Don't cripple Medicare, but "reform it by providing recipients with vouchers so that they can purchase their own coverage."
Sounds a lot more likely to not add "even one dime to our deficit over the next decade" than any of the President's plans while effecting needed health care reform.