Call it Health Care-where’s the reform?
Washington, Jul 28, 2009 - The so-called health care reform bill that has been introduced by the Democrat leadership tremendously expands federal funding for our current broken health care system. There is no reform, but a lot of new money, our money, is being directed at this vital part of our lives. On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its cost estimate on the House Democrats’ legislation and found that it will increase the federal budget deficit by $239 billion over the next 10 years. The Associated Press noted last week: “Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf warned lawmakers the legislation that he has seen so far would raise costs, not lower them. Elmendorf was asked by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.S., if the bills Congress is considering would ‘bend the cost curve.’ The budget director responded: ‘The curve is being raised.’”
Democrats and the current administration pledged this would be the year for health care reform that would lower costs and improve access. Instead of achieving those goals, the 1018 page legislation we are being rushed to consider will spend trillions of dollars, so my question is, “Where’s the reform?”
I believe if the Democrats were serious about bringing down costs and increasing access to affordable health care, there are two places to start:
Number 1: Tort reform-- ensuring our limited health care dollars aren’t siphoned out of the system by lawyers must be included in any health care reform proposal.
Number 2: Preventing scarce federal dollars from being used to finance the health care of illegal immigrants. It seems as though Democrats intentionally left gaping loopholes in their healthcare bill that will allow illegal immigrants to receive taxpayer-funded benefits. The bill contains no verification mechanism to ensure that illegal immigrants do not apply for benefits. The bill also leaves open the possibility that if one citizen family member is eligible for affordability credits, then the whole family including illegal immigrant family members, are also eligible for the credits.
In fact, the Democrats defeated amendments that would have closed those loopholes. Those amendments were voted down.
So again, I ask, Where’s the reform? Reform, by definition, fundamentally changes the way a system functions for the better. But the Democrats approach to health care doesn’t do that; it preserves the status quo in some areas and even exacerbates the current problems by expanding a broken system into a trillion dollar, government run health care system.
For more information, I encourage you to check out the Health Care section of my website.