Thursday, August 20, 2009

Why do I oppose the current Obama health care plan?

A few thoughts...

The "reforms" being pressed by the president and ruling party are very unpopular with the public... so much so that thousands of citizens who have never before been involved in political demonstrations are seeking out their congressmen to express their concerns, indignation, and anger. It's amazing to see the reaction of the public.

The democrats' plan is increasingly unpopular not because the plan is being widely misrepresented, but because people are increasingly realizing what the current proposals would bring. The plan is getting more public scrutiny than Congress and the president want, and the better people understand the plan the more they oppose it.

Public anger is increasing also because people who raise concerns or objections to the democrats' plan find they frequently are dismissed by elected officials and the media as misinformed freaks, lobbyists, or even racists. But the town hall videos I've seen recently show meetings attended mostly by intelligent, passionate, middle-aged and older citizens expressing their own concerns, not pawns operated by mustache-twirling lobbyists intent on putting down the poor.

Why are people so agitated about the "reforms"? Several big reasons:

  • The democrats would like to provide health care coverage as a "right" to an additional 47 million individuals, and claim they will do so without increasing public debt. Does anyone believe this isn't a lie?
  • Where are all the new doctors who will care for those 47 million individuals? Congress can't manufacture them.
  • Many believe that under the proposed plan, their access to medical care and the quality of that care will decrease: millions more recipients will stretch thin the existing pool of medical providers.
  • The so-called "public option" is hardly an "option". It would be the ONLY option permitted to people who don't already have coverage. They would be legally barred from buying private coverage.
  • Who really believes that the government plan will not ultimately destroy the existing private providers, resulting in total government domination of health care? People increasingly view our federal government as insatiable in its appetite to nationalize one industry after another, and the medical industry is currently in the crosshairs.
  • Does anyone really believe that the government can do a better job of providing health care than the private sector? In which countries has this been the case? Cuba? England? Canada?
  • Many people do not believe it is just or fair to grant comprehensive medical benefits to illegal aliens -many of whom pay no taxes- and expect taxpaying citizens to pay the cost, especially when so many citizens are already struggling to provide for their own families.
  • The American medical industry is the greatest in the world, despite its flaws. Who thinks that a government takeover really will improve it?
  • Many people -myself included- deeply mistrust the federal government's ability to administer medical benefits fairly without violating the basic human rights of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly. The danger is that government will have a strong financial motivation to make medical decisions not to benefit individuals, but according to some other criteria.
  • And why have the president and Congress been pressing for such rapid passage of such a monumental bill? If it's so important to get it right, why did they press so hard to pass it before the August recess, even before many members had had a chance to read it?

These are a few of the big concerns I have about the democrats' plan for the federal government to take over the health care industry, and they are reasons why I oppose the current plan. I'm persuaded that there are some things government should do to improve the health care system, but a massive take-over, a government-run "public option" would badly damage our system of health care which is second to none in the world.

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