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Republicans Rally Resistance to Health Care Bill, as House Vote Nears

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Photo from  Fox News

Have you heard that Sen. Reid put the public option back in the Senate bill?   And that Speaker Pelosi wants to rebrand it to make it more palatable to us idiot voters?  And that the Senate Democrats are ready to break out the champagne for the public option?    And Senator Bayh got us a break on medical device prices?

Does all that not irritate the heck out of you?  It does me, and I faxed this to Bayh, Lugar and Visclosky this morning.  Feel free to use any or all of it if you have had enough of Congress treating you like a fool.

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Image from Lolcats

The talk by Federal legislators about competitive options, state opt outs and triggers relating to current health care legislation are an insult to taxpayers. Does Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi think voters don’t understand the context of such gimmicks? I am writing you to register my firm opposition to the public option, under whatever focus group-tested name it is slipped into legislation. That means no provisions for states to “opt” out, and no “triggers” for it to kick in if private insurers don’t meet some government-approved price level. Does Congress think the American public is too stupid to understand that the existence of opt outs and triggers assumes that a program of government control of the entire system has to be in place for those options to be offered? You can’t opt out of a program, or have to utilize it under certain conditions if it doesn’t exist in the first place. Shame on Congress for insulting voters that way.

As a concerned citizen, I oppose any and all efforts to further expand government control over the U.S. healthcare and insurance system. It will impose massive taxes on the American people, whether in the form of fines, higher insurance premiums, higher prices for medical devices or increases in state income tax rates to cover the huge expansion of Medicaid it will necessarily bring. I understand the Senate bill will now only impose about half the new taxes on medical device makers that were originally planned. How is this a victory for consumers? The price will still go up since companies pass along any higher costs of doing business.

Like most Americans, I prefer getting my health coverage through private insurance rather than the federal government. That’s because government healthcare always results in higher costs and rationing. I do not want politicians and bureaucrats dictating my health care and insurance decisions. Especially in these difficult economic times, I flatly reject any new government healthcare plan that imposes new taxes or burdens on individuals or businesses.

If Congress means what it says about its desire to make health care more affordable, look at freeing up competition instead. More competition always means lower prices and more and better products. Cloaking increased government intrusion in the health care system in the language of capitalism by calling the public option the “competitive option” or referring to it as enhancing consumer choice is a perversion of what those words mean. It’s a charade that I and millions of other taxpayers see right through, and does Congress no credit.

Via Instapundit, Cincinnati Tea Partyers surround their local Congressman for four days:

The Cincinnati Tea Party organized a four day demonstration to urge local congressman Steve Driehaus to vote against the Healthcare bill in the House. He is the only local representative who has not committed to a “ney” vote. We organized an unprecedented four-day “We Surround Him” demonstration to show our commitment to liberty and resolve on the issue.

The first three days of the demonstration were surrounding his district. We had members stationed at all busy exits around I-275 on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. These members passed out educational materials to vehicles and pedestrians. The finale was yesterday, Saturday, when we surrounded him. Members surrounded the Carew Tower in Cincinnati where his local office is located. We invited Congressman Driehaus and his 2010 opponent Steve Chabot to speak about Healthcare after the rally. The Congressman declined our invitation. Speakers offered solutions to the “crisis” such as allowing for the sale of insurance across state lines and tort reform.

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Local media coverage:  Cincinnati Tea Party concluded four-day protest on Saturday and Tea Party Rallies Against Health Care Bills

From CNS News, Hoyer Says Constitution’s ‘General Welfare’ Clause Empowers Congress to Order Americans to Buy Health Insurance

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House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said that the individual health insurance mandates included in every health reform bill, which require Americans to have insurance, were “like paying taxes.” He added that Congress has “broad authority” to force Americans to purchase other things as well, so long as it was trying to promote “the general welfare.”

The Congressional Budget Office, however, has stated in the past that a mandate forcing Americans to buy health insurance would be an “unprecedented form of federal action,” and that the “government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.”…

Is there any limit to Congress’s power in his view?

CNSNews.com also asked Hoyer if there is a limit to what Congress can mandate that Americans purchase and whether there is anything that specifically could not be mandated to purchase. Hoyer said that eventually the Supreme Court would find a limit to Congress’ power, adding that mandates that unfairly favored one person or company over another would obviously be unconstitutional.

“I’m sure the [Supreme] Court will find a limit,” Hoyer said. “For instance, if we mandated that you buy General Motors’ automobiles, I believe that would be far beyond our constitutional responsibility and indeed would violate the Due Process Clause as well – in terms of equal treatment to automobile manufacturers.”

Hoyer said that the insurance mandate was constitutional because Congress is not forcing Americans to buy one particular policy, just any health insurance policy.

Well, that’s a relief.  I was starting to think I lived in a police state.  More at the link.

The video is from July, but things haven’t changed in so-called health care reform.

From Fox News, Obama Administration Drops ‘Gag Order’ on Private Health Insurer

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The federal government, in the face of allegations it was trampling on free speech, has closed its investigation of a major insurance company for allegedly trying to scare seniors with a mailer warning they could lose important benefits under President Obama’s health reform plan.

U.S. health officials announced Friday that private insurers can send seniors information on health-related issues as long as they allow their members to opt out of receiving the communications, apparently ending its probe of Humana.

“While we feel it is important to protect Medicare beneficiaries from potentially unwelcome marketing and other communications, we also recognize plans’ interest in contacting their enrollees on issues unrelated to the specific plan benefit that they contract with CMS to provide to those enrollees,” Teresea DeCaro, acting director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Medicare Drug and Health Plan Contract Administration Group, wrote in a memo…

More at the link.

Good Intentions Aren’t Enough with Health Care Reform

…Americans want health care reform because we want affordable health care. We don’t need subsidies or a public option. We don’t need a nationalized health care industry. We need to reduce health care costs. But the Senate Finance plan will dramatically increase those costs, all the while ignoring common sense cost-saving measures like tort reform. Though a Congressional Budget Office report confirmed that reforming medical malpractice and liability laws could save as much as $54 billion over the next ten years, tort reform is nowhere to be found in the Senate Finance bill. [17]

Here’s a novel idea. Instead of working contrary to the free market, let’s embrace the free market. Instead of going to war with certain private sector companies, let’s embrace real private-sector competition and allow consumers to purchase plans across state lines. Instead of taxing the so-called “Cadillac” plans that people get through their employers, let’s give individuals who purchase their own health care the same tax benefits we currently give employer-provided health care recipients. Instead of crippling Medicare, let’s reform it by providing recipients with vouchers so that they can purchase their own coverage…

More at the link.

I’ve been reading speculation that Sen. Harry Reid will attach whatever Senate health care reform bill comes out to another bill that has already passed the House as an amendment, thereby giving cover (or so he thinks) to any Senators who vote to pass it.  They’re voting for this OTHER bill, you see, not the Baucus mess.

Now satirist Scott Ott reveals the Trojan Horse bill the Senate is sure to vote for:

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…The “vapor bill” would ban “concealed, or open, carry of any farm implement comprised of sequential, lateral, equidistant metal tines mounted on a wooden pole anywhere within the District of Columbia, or within 1,000 yards of any government office building in the United States.”

“Given the way this session of Congress has gone,” said Sen. Reid, “I feel confident that a pitchfork ban will enjoy wide, bipartisan support, and provide the ideal platform on which to affix our health care reform amendment.”..

More at the link.

There was much to-do about the health insurance industry supposedly attempting to torpedo the healthcare reform bill.  But don’t break out the champagne yet because the devil’s in the details.  Dems scramble after warning from health insurers

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…At the heart of the industry’s complaint is a decision by lawmakers to weaken the requirement that millions more Americans get coverage. Since the legislation would ban insurance companies from denying coverage on account of poor health, many people will wait to sign up until they get sick, the industry says. And that will drive up costs for everybody else.

Insurers are now raising possibilities such as higher premiums for people who postpone getting coverage, or waiting periods for those who ignore a proposed government requirement to get insurance and later have a change of heart…

More at the link.

So their beef is that the bill isn’t harsh enough on people:  it doesn’t take away their individual choice fast enough.  Wonder if the fringe media will still call Tea Partyers shills for the insurance industry now.