Health care solution would be ‘disastrous'
Health care solution would be ‘disastrous’
The Deer Park Broadcaster
By PETE OLSON
The health care delivery system in the United States is in need of reform. Health care costs continue to escalate as businesses and families see more of their budgets consumed by health expenses. Access and affordability of health care are paramount to solving the health care crisis facing our country. It is essential that we approach these issues with common sense and with the best interests of the American people at heart.
Unfortunately, I believe the “solution” the Congressional Majority has proposed would be disastrous for Americans and further cripple our economy. It includes an unprecedented expansion of government involvement in health care, including the creation of a government run public option that could result in more than 114 million Americans losing their current health care coverage. The public option allows the government to act as regulator and funder for the public option. This will allow them to set rates for reimbursements and bail out the public option if it fails to compete with its private sector counterparts.
In order to finance this government expansion, Congressional Leaders have included hundreds of billions of dollars in tax increases on certain “higher income” tax filers — a majority of whom are small businesses. Not to mention the fact that this plan will force small businesses who do not currently offer insurance to either opt into a coverage plan or pay a penalty. Individuals who choose not to participate in a plan will also be slapped with a penalty for non-compliance – in part to pay for this massive new plan.
Don’t take my word for it; several Democrats, the media and the public are seeing the details on cost and government involvement — with increasing alarm:
Washington Post — Lawmakers Warned About Health Costs
Under questioning by members of the Senate Budget Committee, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, said bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose “the sort of fundamental changes” necessary to rein in the skyrocketing cost of government health programs, particularly Medicare. On the contrary, Elmendorf said, the measures would pile on an expensive new program to cover the uninsured. July 17, 2009
Wall Street Journal — Rep. Jim Matheson, a moderate Democrat from Utah, suggested Mr. Elmendorf’s assessment “is of great concern” and called for renewed focus on restraining spending. “If we don’t reform the system to get costs under control, then nothing else matters,” he said. “We’re just putting more people into a broken system.” July 17, 2009
Washington Examiner -CBO Blasts Health Plan as Budget Buster — The head of the Congressional Budget Office doused renewed Democratic hopes for a massive health care overhaul, telling the Senate Budget Committee that the plans endorsed by the President and others could drive the national debt to unsustainable levels. July 17, 2009
Reuters — Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Elmendorf told lawmakers on Thursday legislation to expand health care coverage would increase federal healthcare costs “to a significant degree” and revenue will need to be found to keep from increasing the deficit. July 16, 2009
Any health care reform package Congress considers should empower Americans with opportunity and provide Americans the ability to make unencumbered decisions about their course of care. Achieving this positive type of change will only be possible by embracing – in a bipartisan manner – a fundamental rethinking of our health care delivery system – into a system which champions personal ownership and coverage.
I will continue to urge my colleagues to put forth a plan that ensures personal decisions, not government run health care. And I will not support a plan that raises taxes on small businesses or individuals. We can work together to provide meaningful solutions that do not jeopardize the future of this nation for our children. Americans deserve nothing less.
U.S. Rep. Pete Olson represents the 22nd Congressional District, which includes parts of Pasadena, Deer Park and La Porte.