Local Health Care Letter

To: letters@phillyburbs.com
Subject: Guest opinion submission
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 17:08:01 +0000
Please consider the following for publication as a guest opinion:

The main reason nationalized health care failed in the 1990’s was that then-first-lady Hillary Clinton was brutally honest (those are five words I never expected to see together) about the costs and level of federal interference such a program would require. Both before and since, advocates of socialized medicine have relied on stealth and deceit to advance national health care plans.

The original deception was that federal health care assistance would remain limited to those most in need. Looking at the growth of these programs over the years, it is clear the intention was always to build out slowly from a small base until everyone was reliant on the government for health care. But, just as the gazelle notices the stalking lion slowly closing to within striking distance, there would come a point where the taxpayers would recognize the true intent. The only questions were whether that point would come too late for the taxpayers to escape; and, if the citizens recognized the threat in time, what new cover would replace the old.

The Democrats have answered both questions. Demanding taxpayer help for families making up to $60,000/year (in the name of the children, of course) following the addition of the Medicare prescription benefit as closely as it did, spooked the herd and blew the cover of incrementalism. And, Senator Obama is already heading for the tall grass of spin.

The first new layer of cover is the “How can you call it ‘socialized medicine’ if I am only offering the same plan I get as a Senator?” dodge. When this plan is limited to Congress and its mere thousands of staffers, it is an employee benefit. But, add the nearly fifty million uninsured and the millions of others who will be forced into this plan to the millions already in the system, and it is very possible that a majority of Americans will depend on government for their health care. I am not sure what to call such a system if not socialized medicine.

Senator Obama promises to make health care “more affordable”. For forty years we have force fed the health care industry billions of taxpayer dollars. For most of those years, health care costs have risen by several times the rate of inflation. Prescription drug costs rose more slowly, that is until 2006, when Medicare started paying for those, too. A basic understanding of supply and demand, and 40 years of experience, tell us that throwing a few hundred billion more taxpayer dollars at health care will make it even less affordable.

We have also heard that most of us will have a “choice” about enrolling in the government plan. Those of us who rely on our employers know that the choice is really theirs, not ours. And, those of us not in teachers’ unions know that our employers have not been shy about sharing the cost of their health plans. Give our employers the option of pushing off their entire health care burden onto someone else, like us taxpayers, and you will see just how much “choice” we actually get in the matter.

But, the thinnest cover of all may be the notion that we can pay for this risky socialized health care scheme by taxing only “the rich”. Annual cost estimates for his proposed health care program are in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Assume this will be the first government program ever to come in on budget, and ignore the question of whether tax hikes on the most productive actually raise more revenue: “the rich” simply do not have that kind of money. Millions of us will likely discover through our tax bills that we are far richer than we ever imagined.

Senator Obama pretends not to understand the costs and consequences of his plan. He will not even dare call his health care plan by its proper name. Even a politician of his youth and inexperience knows when to use the same old political tricks to keep the truth of his plans downwind and out of sight of the endangered American taxpayer. His plan is nothing more than a pack of lies, hot on the trail of our wallets.

Edward Farling
Northampton, PA 18966

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