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By House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio)
Middle-class families are struggling every day with rising costs of housing, food, transportation, and taxes. But for many, rising costs of health care are the most devastating of all. That’s why Americans’ top priority during the ongoing health care debate is a plan that will reduce costs. Unfortunately, the government takeover of health care offered by the Washington Democrats will not reduce costs; instead, it will dramatically increase costs – for your family, America’s small businesses, and all taxpayers.
Last week, Douglas Elmendorf, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) sent shockwaves through Washington when he told Congress that the Democrats’ plans would make health care more costly. Throughout this debate, President Obama has spoken of the need to “bend the cost curve” or drive health care costs down. During a congressional hearing, however, Mr. Elmendorf testified that the Democrats’ plans would have the opposite effect, saying that under their proposals, “The curve is being raised” and costs would “significantly expand.” That’s because the Democrats’ plan adds a new layer of taxes, mandates, and bureaucracy on top of the current system. If that’s not bad enough, the Democrats’ plan cuts Medicare and takes away choices for millions of seniors. What does all of this mean? Higher costs for the medicine and treatments you need.
Not only will the Democrats’ government-run health care plan raise your costs, but it also will raise costs for our nation’s employers – particularly small businesses. At the heart of their proposal is a small business tax that, for tens of millions, means diminished job security. The National Federation of Independent Businesses warns that the small business tax and mandates in the Democrats’ plan will destroy 1.6 million jobs – one million of them in small businesses alone. And according to methodology developed by Dr. Christina Romer, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, the government takeover would cost Americans 4.7 million jobs over the next 10 years. With our economy at its weakest since the Great Depression and unemployment soaring far beyond the levels promised by the Administration, why would Congress promote policies that make jobs even more scarce?
In addition to warning that the Democrats’ plan will raise health care costs, the Congressional Budget Office also has projected that the House Democrats’ proposal would increase the deficit by another $239 billion over the next 10 years. And even though the President continues to claim that those who like their current health care plans can keep them under the Democrats’ proposal, independent analysts disagree. One analysis shows that 114 million Americans may be forced off their current coverage and onto a government-run plan as a result of the House Democrats’ legislation. That means more costs to the taxpayers. The bottom line: while Democratic leaders continue to claim that health care legislation must be “paid for,” the House Democrats’ bill is not. Instead, it will force us to borrow more from China and countries in the Middle East and stick our children and grandchildren with the tab.
Faced with the Democratic bill’s extraordinary costs to families, small businesses, and taxpayers, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) suggested last week that Democrats should go “back to the drawing board.” I agree, and that’s why House Republicans have offered real reforms that would lower health care costs. Our plan roots out waste, fraud, and abuse in the system and reforms medical liability rules that cost families millions each year – millions that line the pockets of trial lawyers at the expense of patients and doctors. It lets small businesses band together through associations and purchase health insurance for workers at a lower cost, just like large corporations and unions do. It offers incentives to help Americans who do not have access to quality health care get the coverage they can afford, while giving states tools to design programs that make health care coverage more affordable. And it reforms regulations so insurance companies compete for your business and you can shop around for the best coverage and price.
Health care reform is too important to rush through a flawed proposal that will raise costs – the opposite of what the American people want. After the Obama Administration insisted that Congress rush to enact a “stimulus” bill that – by any objective account – has not created the jobs that were promised, Washington cannot afford to make that same mistake on health care. Nonetheless, it appears Democratic leaders will stubbornly try to ram through this bill before Congress leaves for the August break with little debate or discussion, even as many rank-and-file Democrats express serious concerns about what a costly government-run plan would mean for families and small businesses. It’s time for Democrats to scrap their government takeover of health care and work with Republicans on a plan that gives more Americans access to affordable coverage.
Op-Ed: Demsâ€™ health plan will increase costs for families, small businesses - Yahoo! News
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press Writer Ricardo
WASHINGTON – The chairman of the Republican Party on Monday called President Barack Obama's plan to overhaul health care "socialism," accusing the president of conducting a risky experiment that will hurt the economy and force millions to drop their current coverage.
Michael Steele, in remarks at the National Press Club, also said the president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and key congressional committee chairmen are part of a "cabal" that wants to implement government-run health care.
"Obama-Pelosi want to start building a colossal, closed health care system where Washington decides. Republicans want and support an open health care system where patients and doctors make the decisions," Steele said.
Asked if Obama's health care plan represented socialism, Steele responded: "Yes. Next question."
Obama has repeatedly said he does not favor a government-run health care system. Legislation taking shape in the House envisions private insurance companies selling coverage in competition with the government.
Even so, numerous Republicans in Congress continue to level the accusation at Obama and congressional Democrats, and Steele did so in sharply critical terms.
"Many Democrats outside of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Waxman cabal know that voters won't stand for these kinds of foolish prescriptions for our health care. We do too. That's why Republicans will stop at nothing to remind voters about the risky experimentation going on in Washington," the party chairman said. Harry Reid, D-Nev., is Senate majority leader; Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Republican officials said they were supplementing Steele's speech with a round of television advertising designed to oppose government-run health care. The 30-second commercial, titled "Grand Experiment," criticizes recent government aid to the auto industry and banks as "the biggest spending spree in our history" and warns similarly of "a risky experiment with our health care."
The GOP ads show children who presumably would be burdened as adult taxpayers with the cost of the health care overhaul. The commercials are being broadcast in Nevada, home of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, as well Arkansas and North Dakota, states represented in the Senate by moderate Democrats. The ad is also being posted on the Internet, in coordination with a grass-roots campaign.
Separately, the insurance industry, which challenged President Bill Clinton's health care effort in the early 1990s, launched its first TV ads of this year's health care fight. The multimillion-dollar campaign, being aired nationally on cable stations, restates the industry's support for an overhaul that provides universal coverage and its offer to cover people who are already sick. The ad campaign does not mention the insurers' strong opposition to creating a government-run insurance option.
In his speech, Steele broadened his attack beyond health care to question Obama's truthfulness.
The president "tells us he doesn't want to spend more than we have, he doesn't want the deficit to go up, he doesn't want to live off borrowed money. But he also told us he didn't want to run an auto company. President Obama justifies this spending by saying the devil made him do it. He doesn't want to spend trillions we can't afford, but he says he just can't help it," Steele said in the prepared excerpts.
The Republican chairman is making his speech at a time when Obama is struggling to advance his trademark health care proposal after a period of evident progress. Two of three House committees have approved their portions of the bill, while one of two Senate panels have acted.
But conservative Democrats have raised objections to some elements of the legislation, and efforts in the Senate to reach a bipartisan agreement have yet to bear fruit. Obama's attempt to impose an early August deadline on both the House and Senate for passage of legislation is in jeopardy.
White House officials spent Sunday defending Obama's health care proposals and stressing that Congress has not yet written the final draft of legislation that would dramatically reshape how Americans receive health care. Instead, they said, Republicans — and even some Democrats — should wait until a final bill takes form.
Getting it done by August, though, appeared to be pushed back. Administration officials said they still have a goal for the Senate and the House to pass separate bills before an August recess, leaving reconciliation of their differences for September or later. But they slid away from a once-firm do-it-this-summer demand.
"We think we can make that. We're working towards that," White House budget director Peter Orszag said. "And we have to remember, there are some who are advocating the delay simply because they don't have anything to put on the table. ... There are those who are advocating delay just as a desperation move to try to kill this."
Time would appear to be on the Republicans' side, however. A Washington Post-ABC News survey released Monday shows approval of Obama's handling of health care reform slipping below 50 percent for the first time. The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
RNC chairman: Obama's health care is socialism - Yahoo! News
Last edited by ianstew; 07-20-2009 at 08:33 AM.