Eight (Ten) Questions to Ask at a Townhall Meeting About ObamaCare – UPDATED! Solution Offered!
Posted by iusbvision on August 4, 2009
The First Five Via Heritage Blog:
This country deserves a respectful, honest debate about health care. And the hundreds of townhalls Members of Congress will be hosting across the country this August are just the place for that conversation to happen. Here are just five questions Americans should be pressing their elected leaders on over the coming month:
Can you promise me that I will not lose my current plan and doctor? [and can you promise that a new health care law can never be construed to push me into the public option when I go to change insurance - Editor]
President Obama says it is “not legitimate” to claim the “public option is somehow a Trojan horse for a single-payer system.” But Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman have all admitted that the public option will inevitably lead to government-run health care. The independent and non-partisan Lewin Group estimates that about 83.4 million people would lose their private insurance if Obamacare became law.
Can you promise that you and your family will enroll in the public plan?
Members of Congress and their families currently receive health care through the popular, and completely public-option-free, Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) which allows members of Congress to choose between 283 private health insurance plans. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) proposed an amendment that would require all members of Congress and their staffs to enroll in the newly-created public health insurance plan. His amendment passed by just one vote in the Senate Health Committee. In the House, Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV) offered a similar amendment and all 21 Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee voted it down. If the public plan is so great, then Members of Congress should be willing to forfeit their private coverage and join the millions of Americans who would be moved into the public plan.
Can you promise that Obamacare will not lead to higher deficits in the long term?
President Obama said that he would not support health care legislation that would add to the national deficit. But Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Elmendorf has stated that the House health care legislation would “generate substantial increases in federal budget deficits during the decade beyond the current 10-year budget window.” To help Obama keep his promise, Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-OH) offered an amendment that would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to submit an annual report to the President and Congress, comparing the expected revenue and spending under the bill’s provisions for the upcoming 10-year period. In the event that projected spending under the bill outpaced revenue, the Secretary would have to reduce spending so that it would not exceed revenue. Democrats defeated Tiberi’s amendment.
Can you promise that government bureaucrats will not ration health care for patients on the public plan?
President Obama promised on July 22 that health care reform would keep the government out of health care decisions, but both the House and Senate bills call for an increased role of comparative effectiveness research (CER). More information on health care effectiveness is good, as long as doctors and patients are the ones empowered to use that information. Conservatives in both the House and Senate offered amendments prohibiting the use of CER by government to mandate, deny, or ration care. These anti-rationing amendments were defeated in both the House and Senate.
Can you promise me that my tax dollars will not fund abortions?
The House bill, as currently drafted, allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to outline the minimum benefits that must be included in any health plan. There is no specific provision in the bill that would require insurance coverage of abortion. However, since the decisions over benefits are left to the Secretary of HHS, with recommendations from a newly created Health Care Benefits Advisory Committee, there is nothing to prevent the current or future Secretary from including abortion coverage in Americans’ health insurance. Conservatives in both the House and Senate offered amendments that would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. The taxpayer funded abortion bans were defeated in both the House and Senate.
IUSB Vision Editor Chuck Norton asks:
Can you promise that the number of doctors and nurses will not dwindle over time because of the lowered rates that they would be paid under a government plan?
Medicare pays doctors 71% of what private health insurers pay and pays hospitals 81%. Many doctors have to limit the number of Medicare patients to that their paying customers can make up the difference. A large number of Canadian trained doctors have fled to the United States. Less pay means less people getting in the business.
Can you promise that we will not see extended wait lists like we do in Canada and Britain in light of the fact that :
If the number of doctors and nurses gets lower because they are paid less, how can we add 30 million uninsured, including 12 million illegal immigrants, and then add (as some studies indicate) 83 million more people to the rolls, because of the employers who will cancel their private health insurance plan for the taxpayer subsidized model, and still recieve timely care?
How can you claim to be serious about health care reform when the trial lawyers lobby has convinced most Democratic members of Congress to abandon any meaningful lawsuit reform for these bogus lawsuits?
UPDATE II: Will I have to pay for the “public option” plan if I chose not to use it and keep my private plan?
According to the House version of the bill you will have to pay taxes for the “public option” whether you use it or not. Like the public school “option” you have to pay for private school tuition on top of public school property taxes which makes the private option twice as expensive and twice as less desirable, even though private often gives quality that is twice as good. By economic force it is designed to limit your choices if you are middle class.
Will you go on the record and promise right now that no new health care bill in Congress could be construed as to allow any government official to prevent my doctor from giving me the treatment he thinks I or my parents will need?
Hudson Senior Fellow and former Lt. Governor of new York Betsy McCaughey on CNN reported (LINK): The House bill empowers the Health & Human Services Secretery to use “increasingly stringent measures to enforce compliance” on doctors.
UPDATE: Dennis Prager has his 10 questions about ObamaCare (LINK).
UPDATE III: Hotair.com posts details of sections 122-124 of the House Bill with key questions – LINK.
UPDATE IV – SOLUTIONS ?? How about we just add language to the bills saying that, for example : Section XXXX shall never be construed as to force doctors to make certain decisions that the doctor and patient feel are not in their best interests. Or XXX section shall never be construed to use any form of cost/benefit analysis to avoid paying for or authorizing benefits to anyone based on age, mental status, weight, disease etc etc…. OR perhaps a section banning payments for any form of convenience abortion or euthanasia….. but they aren’t offering that as a solution are they? – But here is the dirty little secret, Republicans had tried to get such language inserted and the Democrats faught it tooth and nail – LINK.