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Government Takeover of Health Care Won't Lower Costs for Families But Will Kill American Jobs
Posted by Jessica R. Towhey on July 16, 2009 | comments
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The House Democrats’ $1.5 trillion government takeover of health care has a massive small business tax, plenty of new small business mandates, and plenty of new bureaucracy.  But what’s missing?  The legislation doesn’t contain any real reforms to help bring down the costs of health care on behalf of the American people.  Instead, the Associated Press reports today that the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is warning that the bill will actually RAISE health care costs, not lower them:

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.D., if the bills Congress is considering would ‘bend the cost curve.’  The budget director responded: ‘The curve is being raised.’

Today’s Wall Street Journal notes that rising costs are a major concern for small businesses, who will also be crushed by new job-killing taxes and mandates under the House Democrats’ bill:

Executives across the country expressed concern Wednesday that health-care bills being hammered out in Congress this week would place onerous burdens on their businesses without doing enough to reduce their swelling medical costs...

Many employer groups have spent months pushing for an overhaul, hoping it would lower their health-care costs and make it easier for small businesses to buy coverage.  But with the release of the House bill, employer groups ramped up criticism, saying employers can't afford new mandates.

A Gallup poll released this week confirmed that Americans’ top goal for health care reform is helping families deal with soaring costs for health care.  In fact, by a 52 to 42 percent margin, Americans favored lowering health care costs over expanding health care coverage.  So how do Democrats respond?  With a plan that raises costs even higher.  How is that reform?

House Republicans have proposed a better solution that actually addresses Americans’ concerns about out-of-control health care costs.  For example, the House GOP plan:

  • 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.
  • Lets small businesses band together through associations and purchase health insurance for workers at a lower cost just like large corporations do.
  • Offers incentives to help Americans who do not have access to quality health care get the coverage they can afford.
  • Gives states tools to design programs that make health care coverage more affordable for everyone.
  • Reforms regulations so insurance companies compete for your business and you can shop around for the best coverage and price.
  • Roots out health care waste, fraud, and abuse that cost taxpayers billions.

So, what is the House Democrats’ answer for helping Americans deal with rising health care costs?  A government takeover that places Washington bureaucrats in charge, raises health care costs even higher, and cuts Medicare, taking away health care choices for millions of seniors.  That’s not the answer middle-class families and small businesses are looking for as they struggle with health care costs that show no sign of slowing down anytime soon. 
Instead of making rank-and-file Democrats walk the plank to vote for this costly government takeover, shouldn’t Democratic leaders spend their time working with Republicans to address the American people’s top health care priority: reducing costs?

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