Care Plans: Piecemeal Socialism
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) “Six in ‘06” policy agenda includes
just one health care provision – allowing the federal government to
negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. In truth, Pelosi and her
big government allies are taking a piecemeal approach toward their
larger socialist goal of universal health care. As some conservatives in
Congress have shown, however, the only way to lower health care costs is
through free market solutions.
health care is as much a sacrament to liberalism as protecting abortion
on demand and ensuring that no changes are ever made to the failed
Social Security structure. The Executive Summary of the 1993 National
Health Security Plan, better known as HillaryCare, stated “The Health
Security plan guarantees comprehensive health benefits for all American
citizens and legal residents, regardless of health or employment
status.” Also in 1993, Hillary Clinton said at a town hall meeting in
Minneapolis, “…every American should have the right to necessary health
care.” The Founding Fathers were so concerned about life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness they forgot to guarantee health care for all.
Three out of four provided a pretty good foundation.
HillaryCare failed, liberal policymakers have had to be as patient as a
Chicago Cubs fan on health care issues. But they now sense a public
ready to accept a repackaged HillaryCare program. A November 11
Rasmussen poll found that 54 percent of respondents “might be receptive
to Democratic health care proposals,” versus 35 percent who “currently
trust the GOP more on the issue.” In a November 12 Gallup Poll, 71
percent said the nation’s health care system was in a “state of crisis”
or faced “major problems.” In the same Gallup poll, 69 percent agreed
that “It is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure
all Americans have health care coverage.” If you tell people for 40
years that they have the right to free health care, that is the answer
we should expect.
Conservative think tanks and pundits have done a great job explaining
the massive threats to the economy and the quality of health care
delivery posed by a universal health care system. Now is the time for
conservatives to discuss their market-based health care proposals,
instead of ceding the bully pulpit on the issue to liberals. The
November 12 Gallup poll also found that when respondents were asked if
they favor maintaining the current health care system based on private
health insurance or replacing the current system with government run
health care, 51 percent favored maintaining the private insurance-based
system. Connect the dots, Republicans. A majority of Americans want a
more efficient and affordable health care system, but they reject
voters want is members of a political party, any of the two major
parties, to fix the broken health care system. The public does not
necessarily agree with liberal health care proposals, but liberals are
at least talking about the issue. A majority of today’s Republican
office holders lack the courage to espouse free-market, private
insurance solutions, even when polls indicate that is the public’s
dynamic occurred last year during debate over restructuring Social
Security, abolishing the estate tax and making the tax rate cuts on
capital gains and dividends taxes permanent. One strong gust of liberal
hot air and the Republican leaders in Congress collapse like a straw
conservative solution pending in Congress is the Self-Employed Health
Care Affordability Act (HR 4961). The self-employed were given the
ability in 2003 to deduct the cost of their health insurance premiums,
but they must still pay payroll taxes on the income used to purchase
health insurance. This inequity imposes a 15.3 percent tax on the self-employed’s
health insurance premiums. Corporations are allowed to deduct their
health insurance costs as a business expense. HR 4961 eliminates the
inequity by allowing the self-employed to deduct health insurance costs
when computing their self-employment taxes.
conservative solution introduced this year is the Health Care Choice Act
(HR 2355). The HCCA would allow individuals who reside in one state to
purchase an insurance plan licensed in another state and frees health
insurance companies to sell their policies in all 50 states. The HCCA
will increase competition among insurance companies, reduce regulations
and their associated costs and increase individual choice of the
competing health care plans.
that Republicans are the minority party in Congress they will find the
intestinal fortitude to speak candidly about market-based solutions to
rising health care costs. Introducing legislation alone is constructive,
but not an adequate solution to combating the liberals’ populist
rhetoric on the health care issue.
presidency can go to the candidate who most effectively details a common
sense approach to fixing the health care system that does not include
further expansion of entitlement programs and limits on choice. Control
of Congress in two years may similarly rest on Republicans’ ability to
communicate their health care solutions.
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