Your Letter: Obertstar's assessment of health care reform off the mark
Last week I read another letter from another politician promoting Obama's health care bill. Congressman Oberstar used the tragic story of a 28-year-old man dying because he couldn't afford health insurance. The real sad part of the story is that the man had many government options that are already in use, such as General Assistance Medical Care, Minnesota Care, etc. Not to mention many hospitals have programs of their own involving various government subsidies. You can even get help with medical bills after the fact through GAMC.
Given this information, the figure that Oberstar used, "44,000 Americans that die prematurely each year because they do not have health insurance," is also flawed. Creating a new federal law requiring health coverage will not solve the problem. Seat belt use is required by law. But according to James Madison University about 17,000 people involved in car accidents each year die because they did not wear a seat belt.
Among the things Oberstar said would "happen right away" was "banning unethical practices like denying coverage to children based on pre existing conditions." He did not mention that this only applies to children who currently have coverage or are accepted by a health insurance company. Insurance companies can still deny children coverage based on pre-existing conditions until 2014. Oberstar mentioned some freebies in his letter like seniors receiving health screenings "free of charge." Do you remember the old saying "there are no free lunches"? The same principle applies here. Whenever a politician says "free" they simply mean shifting the bill to someone else (redistribution of wealth).
Oberstar said, "According to the CBO (Congressional Budget Office), this bill will reduce the deficit by $130 billion over the next 10 years." The CBO is much like a computer, it gives you an answer based on the information you feed into it. However, let's assume that the CBO was given accurate figures by the Democrats, and let's assume the finalized bill has the same figures, and let's assume that everything will happen exactly as Democrats and the CBO predict, and let's assume that for the first time in history the government actually did something that reduces the deficit. What will happen to the deficit after 10 years when the bill hits the fan? Has anyone asked the CBO that? If I take out a loan that I do not have to pay back for 10 years the CBO would say my deficit will be reduced over the next ten years also. Regardless of the rosy CBO prediction on my budget, the "reduction" of my deficit would be reversed when the 10 years are up.
Oberstar said that he "made certain this bill does not change existing laws that ban the use of federal dollars to provide abortions." He does not mention the fact that this bill would allow federal subsidies to be used to buy private insurance to pay for abortions. That's a bit like hiring a "hit man" and saying "I didn't kill anyone!"
One thing Oberstar accurately stated in his letter was that "Sunday's vote was one of the most politically contentious events of my service in Congress." Considering that the same Democrats who condemned the "simple majority" procedure in 2005 (calling it the "nuclear option" and saying it will be the end of government) used this very procedure to pass a bill that a majority of the population strongly opposed, "contentious" would be one way to accurately describe it.
There are a few good things in the healthcare bill that would easily fit in a few hundred pages. My question for Oberstar is: "What is the real purpose for the other 2,000-plus pages?"