Sunday, November 8, 2009

About a week ago, my sister Kathie sent out an email to several friends with information about the health care bill and what it will mean to us if it is passed. There were some on this email list who Kathie knew were likely to be for the bill, but fortunately she sent her email to them anyway -- after all, it's not the like-minded people who need convincing, but rather those who are uninformed about what lies hidden in the bill.

Not long after, Kathie received a response from one friend who believes this bill is the right way to solve our country's health care issues. It follows below, in white text. Interspersed in red italic text is the reply Kathie sent back to her.

Hi Kathie,

Congress has excellent health care paid for by their employers, us. They do not pay for it but they will deny the employers, us, the same care they receive. Why should private employers pay for coverage for the people who work for them and again for the congress? If you watch the news you will realize that more
We still will not receive the same care and coverage as Congress has if this bill is passed. Nor will they have the coverage that we will have under the bill because they won't lower themselves to the conditions that the government healthcare bill (all 2000 pages of it) will provide us. and more employers are dropping health care as being too expensive. There will be no competition between government health care coverage and private coverage because government with its unlimited supply of money from us, the taxpayers, and their printing presses, will always be able to make premiums lower than private insurance companies. Dropping the premium prices to where private insurance companies cannot afford to compete will put private insurance companies out of business. The government also will set the standard for prices for care and procedures, medications and medical devices (which are they are doing thru medicare now) and doctors will not be able to afford to do business at the rates set. That is the reason that so many doctors now do not accept Medicare patients, or only a limited number of them. However, I believe that with the current plan, doctors will not be allowed to "opt out." They'll be forced to accept patients at the reimbursement rate offered by the government healthcare plan. Don't you understand that private industry can always provide a service more cheaply than government can? Large companies are at a disadvantage on the global market due to the fact that all other first world countries have national health care. Yes, other countries have national health care, but it is always substandard to ours, no matter what Michael Moore says. Why else are people from England and Canada coming to our country for healthcare for serious disease or surgery that is readily accessible here? I hope you are reading the accounts of people who are having to wait months for tests we can get here within days. Their employers do not have to figure that cost into their prices. Ultimately we are all paying more taxes, and that affects the prices of goods and services as much as the cost of the healthcare policies companies pay. We the taxpayers will always bear the burden of cost, regardless of where government or business tries to hide it. They then flood the American market with their cheaper products. Jobs are being out sourced to other nations at an alarming rate. And this will only increase as it costs our domestic companies more in taxes to pay for the "free" healthcare the government is promoting -- actually nowhere does it say "free". The truth is that working people will be paying higher premiums to help cover the cost of the "underprivileged." Take a look at the "underprivileged" in this country. They have cell phones, flat screen TV's, subsidized housing, free breakfasts and lunches, ad infinitum. No one in this country really goes without health care. They just walk into an emergency room. Then add the benefits of being an illegal immigrant. We the taxpayers, through the generosity of our Congress, foot the bills for them also instead of sending them back where they came from. Where does it stop? At what point does it stop making sense to work because you are footing the bill for masses of people who won't work? My neighbor has had a cleaning business for years, and she tells me that she can't get blacks to work for her. I've cleaned for others. I don't understand how someone who needs money can afford to turn down employment. American companies say they cannot compete. Unemployment goes up. Young people fall into poverty at an alarming rate for the cheaper labor. If you read a reliable source for who is without health insurance, you will find that many are young adults who choose to spend their money on things other than insurance -- their choice in a free country. They lack coverage because they choose not to buy it. Under the new plan, they will either buy it or be fined an amount probably comparable to what it would have cost them to purchase the insurance. And I could be wrong here, but I think the bill also gives the IRS the right to collect this "fine".
Insurance companies decide if and when you can have surgery and\or other treatment. Now the GOVERNMENT will make the decisions, and there is no recourse -- who do you turn to when the government says "no" to that expensive treatment because it doesn't guarantee you a cure or you're too old or unproductive to spend the money on? They will have a panel to decide what is "cost effective" treatment based on a formula they devise. The details of this are not spelled out in detail in the bill, but rather creates a panel to "study" and set the standards. They also decide where you have it and who provides it. Again the government will now be holding the pursestrings and will be deciding for you. Maybe not a big issue if you're 25 and healthy, but for those of us are retirement age and not too many years ahead of us, it is a scary proposition. Meanwhile their CEO's are given multi-million dollars pay checks and golden parachutes if they fail to make a large enough profit for the stock holders. You can choose not to buy any product whose company pay policies you object to. And what is wrong with this in a free country? Every person in this country is born into it with the same opportunities. CEO's got where they are through their own efforts. Maybe not all of us are CEO material, but we all have the opportunity to work hard and be rewarded for our efforts. In this the richest country in the world no one should be denied basic health care in order to allow someone else to live an opulant lifestyle. This country IS the richest nation in the world because of CAPITALISM. With the policies this administration is rushing to put into place, not just healthcare but also cap and trade and others, we will become a socialist nation. There will be no incentive to work hard and produce because of the "spreading the wealth". Really, would you work hard and make sacrifices if you were going to be paid exactly what the slacker next to you will be paid? I don't think so. What makes you think that after the government takes money from the richest of the rich, it won't be taking more money from you too? No one should lose their home, car etc., because they are ill. No one should have their insurance capped or cut off when they get sick. If you are really sick and unable to work you are laid off and you then loose your insurance. Cobra doesn't help because if you are unemployed you can't pay the full cost of the insurance. This happens all the time. It is time something is done about it. I agree that serious reforms are very much needed. But this bill is more than simply health care reform -- it's a means to control you and many facets of your life which you cannot begin to realize until you try to read and digest almost 2000 pages of convoluted legal-speak that makes reference to other legislation, the IRS, etc. Honestly. The bill is online. Try to read it. Tell me how anyone in good conscience can vote for a bill they haven't read in its entirety. And tell me where it guarantees that you will receive whatever treatment you choose or you need. You won't be able to because there are no such guarantees in this bill.

Many other suggestions have been made (including a petition that would bind our lawmakers to signing up for this healthcare program, but none have agreed to that, nor will they. They, our Congress, will become the new elites in place of the corporate CEO's whose earnings you resent.) Tort reform -- ridiculous lawsuits -- are a huge part of the cost of our current health care. But every attempt to make necessary changes to the process to seek redress for medical damages, has been blown out of the water by Congress because most of them are lawyers and profit from the laws they create. Another option that would help to increase competition and bring down prices would be to loosen the restrictions on insurance companies enabling them to compete across state lines. That possibility has also been denied by the Democrats. Ask yourself why. What do they have to lose? What is the REAL agenda here? I guarantee you that healthcare is not the primary agenda. It is merely the means of building a huge government bureaucracy that will insert itself in our lives in ways we can't begin to comprehend.
Where are these congress people obtaining their financing? Chances are they are paid by the health insurance and pharmasudical lobbies. Look them up. You are probably right, there is plenty of graft in the congress, both houses and in both parties, and that should be addressed as well. That is a separate issue and won't be resolved in the slightest by this bill. If anything, 2000 pages of legislation will make way for more opportunites for fraud and corruption.

I'm sorry to disagree with these people but I think we can do better, much better. If this great country is to survive we must. Linda, we as a country will survive, but if this legislation passes, you will not recognize the country you grew up in. Your choices will become very narrow as the government decides what is best for everyone, not just with regard to your healthcare, but in virtually every facet of your life. Prepare yourself for a shock.

Here are links to some additional reading. You may or may not agree, but you owe it to yourself to understand both sides of an issue: Many additional articles and resources This one shows the wheeling and dealing done behind the scenes. Here's the actual bill. Take a peek. Good luck. I heard the other day that the bill that created the federal highway system was 36 pages long. Not that a highway system and healthcare are comparable, but the concept of keeping bills readable and understandable by an average person is pertinent.


Now this bill has passed in the House of Representatives by a mere two votes. It still must be reviewed and voted on by our Senators before returning to the House for their final vote and then to the President to be signed into law. If we don't stop it in the Senate, it will become law. Please, please email and call your own senators and others each and every day until it is defeated. Much is at stake, far beyond who does or does not get some semblance of health care. Ask your friends, family and neighbors to do the same.

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