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1 Pelosi Dances on Health Care's Grave on Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:04 pm


Pelosi Dances on Health Care's Grave

Liz Peek

- November 09, 2009

Nancy Pelosi envisions herself forever sculpted into liberalism’s Mt. Rushmore. But whether you are for or against it, the health care plan passed by the House is a truly a monumental disruption of our economy. Once enacted, we will never go backwards.

What was Speaker Nancy Pelosi thinking as she reveled in the passage of the House’s health care bill? Does she really imagine that this monstrous legislation will improve the lives of most Americans? Does she expect that creating 111 new government bureaucracies and offices will make it easier for most of us to receive medical treatment? Does she think that sharply raising marginal tax rates for our highest-earning citizens and small businesses will spur productivity and hiring?

No, I imagine that she was thrilled by the taste of victory. Somewhere along the way, this push became all about personalities and contest; the original goal of reining in health care costs was abandoned, and the prize at the end became passage of a landmark bill. Nancy Pelosi envisions herself forever sculpted into liberalism’s Mt. Rushmore.

President Obama also has been caught up in the grandeur of the moment. With his usual modesty, he exhorted his colleagues to “answer the call of history.” He said “When I sign this in the Rose Garden, each and every one of you will be able to look back and say “This was my finest moment in politics.” He has been imagining the photo-op; he probably already has his tie picked out.

“Today’s may be a tough vote, but it was in 1935 when we passed Social Security” said Michigan’s John Dingell. (Was he really in the House in 1935?) That aspiration -- to profoundly change the way our country works -- was what was on the minds of those who voted for this bill. Some who voted “Yea” voiced displeasure with the actual bill, such as Jim Cooper from Tennessee, but held out hope “it will get better in the Senate.” What if it doesn’t? What if, just like Social Security, the emerging health care apparatus ultimately threatens the solvency of the United States?

Many of our fellow citizens have lost interest in the health care debate. They are bored with the endless haggling and distrustful of the conflicting data thrown at them from both sides. They especially dislike sentences like the one I just wrote -- about insolvency. Such threats seem extreme, and echo the endlessly gloomy forecasts about Social Security going bankrupt. People are still getting their Social Security checks, so most have written such projections off as the province of right-wing scare-mongers. The right raises inflammatory issues of rationing and death councils; the left offers up platitudes about universal care and lower insurance costs that are just as implausible.

This ennui is understandable, but we are approaching the point in this debate where decisions will be made and laws will be passed. According to numerous polls, people want lower health care and insurance costs, don’t want higher taxes to cover those not able to afford coverage, and would prefer to have less, not more, government interference in their lives.

With that in mind, every American should read up on this bill. The legislation that passed the house does include higher taxes (more than $460 billion), does not lower costs and allows the government unprecedented control over individual health choices. The principle gimmick used by those projecting a deficit reduction is the assumption that politicians will have the fortitude to sharply cut Medicare spending – by $50 billion in 2015, for instance. That has never happened yet, and it won’t happen in 2015. It does nothing to control out-of-control direct and indirect malpractice costs, it does nothing to promote healthy living or to assure that Americans have “skin in the game.” It upends one sixth of our economy in order to provide insurance for that 10% of our population -- about half of which is young, healthy Americans who have chosen not to have insurance -- that isn’t covered currently. (That is an indisputable figure.)

Whether you are for or against it, this is truly a monumental disruption of our economy. Once enacted, we will never go backwards. There has never been a social program of this scope that has been rescinded. If unhappy, Americans can vote their legislators out of office but, make no mistake, the damage will have been done. It’s like a neighborhood fighting a 60-story skyscraper. You better kill it before the first shovel goes in the ground.

2 Re: Pelosi Dances on Health Care's Grave on Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:20 am


"The legislation that passed the house does include higher taxes (more than $460 billion), does not lower costs and allows the government unprecedented control over individual health choices." /// They can carve this on the headstone. And as I have been suggesting, if the Senate configures a bill that gets passed,it will establish an entitlement program and the attached beauracracies that will be nearly impossible to get rid of. Make no mistake, the tax and fee collection process MUST be vigorous and all encompasssing. Virtually every financial transaction will be affected directly or indirectly by government supported healthcare. Employers,faced with the costs of insuring all workers or paying heavy fines, will hire reluctantly,if at all. Unemployment will remain at 10% if not greater because business will be incentavized to do the same job with many less workers and increase productiivity instead of increasing the present work force. And as the population grows,as it certainly does,where will the newbies entering that workforce get a job? The idea that government management will decrease healthcare costs flies in the face of experience. We simply know better than that. The reason helthcare costs per person in euro-land is so much lower than ours is easy to understand. Europeans recieve less services. Check it out. Primary care will be available (doctors must make a living) but the low payouts will de-incentavize the entrance of new doctors into the system. Secondary and tertiary healthcare (surgery,scans,organ transplants) will be so highly rationed,most will die waiting for them. Their disease may not kill them,but time will. More scare mongering? The soviets had the most comprehensive (and highly competent) healthcare system one can imagine. But to benefit from it one had to PAY or "know" the right person to go to the head of the list. Meanwhile, "proles" staggered around drunk and listless knowing that a serious illness was a death sentence. Get used to that idea. (Read: Cancer Ward" by Solzhenitsen (sp) He received cancer treatments because he was a school teacher. Most Russians only whispered about such hospitals and treatments. They knew they would never enter one))

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