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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.

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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.

This is government by and for the people?  Congress’ Secret Plan to Pass Obamacare – CONFIRMED

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Leaders in the House and Senate have a plan to pass President Barack Obama’s sweeping health care plan by Thanksgiving without any significant participation by the American public. CNS News has confirmed the details in our September 22nd titled “Passing a Shell of A Bill: Congress’ Secret Plan to Ram Through Health Care Reform.”   Nicholas Ballasy reports “a senior aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told CNSNews.com that it is ‘likely’ that Reid will use H.R. 1586—a bill passed by the House in March to impose a 90-percent tax on bonuses paid to employees of certain bailed-out financial institutions—as a ‘shell’ for enacting the final version of the Senate’s health care bill, which Reid is responsible for crafting.”…

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Essentially, Senator Reid is going to put in the legislative language himself, with the help of a few other people, behind closed doors:

…CNSnews.com has confirmed that “the actual final text of the legislation will be determined by Reid himself, who will consolidate the legislation approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the still-unapproved legislation from the Senate Finance Committee. Reid will be able to draft and insert textual language that was not expressly approved by either committee.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will write the final version of Obamacare to be considered in the Senate with no input from the American people…

Then the House rubber stamps the Senate bill and rushes it into the President’s hands:

The final step in this plan is for the House to take up Obama care, without amending the legislation, and then sending that bill directly to the President for his signature. Matt Cover at CNSnews.com reports “House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) won’t rule out having the House vote on the Senate health-care bill without making any changes in it, which would allow the bill to go directly to President Barack Obama without having to pass through a House-Senate conference committee and another round of votes in the House and Senate–and a longer period of public scrutiny of what the text of the proposed law actually says.”…

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Read the whole despicable thing at the link.

Universal coverage is not quite the boon to mankind it’s supposed to be.  Moving from Washington to  Massachusetts, a state whose government-run health care has all the features of the Baucus bill, is a sobering experience to a lefty speechwriter.  Health Care Speechwriter for Edwards, Obama & Clinton Without Insurance Now

…In D.C., I had a policy with a national company, an HMO, and surprisingly I was very happy with it. I had a fantastic primary care doctor at Georgetown University Hospital. As a self-employed writer, my premium was $225 a month, plus $10 for a dental discount.

In Massachusetts, the cost for a similar plan is around $550, give or take a few dollars. My risk factors haven’t changed. I didn’t stop writing and become a stunt double. I don’t smoke. I drink a little and every once in a while a little more than I should. I have a Newfoundland dog. I am only 41. There has been no change in the way I live my life except my zip code — to a state with universal health care.

Massachusetts has enacted many of the necessary reforms being talked about in Washington. There is a mandate for all residents to get insurance, a law to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage because of a pre-existing condition, an automatic enrollment requirement, and insurance companies are no longer allowed to cap coverage or drop people when they get sick because they forgot to include a sprained ankle back in 1989 on their application…

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…If Congress and the president want to fix health care, then it is time to start over. They need to look at what’s worked and what has failed in Massachusetts. They are going to have to actually take former Gov. Sarah Palin’s advice and “look north to the future.” Who knew that would ever make sense? But if we continue on this current path without looking, it’s easy to diagnose what’s coming to the country when a health care bill passes.

Adds Hot Air:

Nor is this the only such example of economic disaster that government-mandated coverage generates.  Earlier this summer, we looked at Maine’s DirigoChoice, an Orwellian term for a program full of mandates on individuals and insurers.  The combination resulted in premiums over 300% more expensive than in neighboring New Hampshire, and in an operating deficit so large that it no longer can accept all of the applications by uninsured Maine residents.

The Baucus Senate bill isn’t aimed at making health care affordable for everybody. It is not meant to control costs, or to prevent a holocaust of death by lack of insurance, or any of the other lies that have been used to try to sell government-run healthcare to a reluctant public. It’s designed to herd the populace into the pen labeled “Universal Coverage” by making private insurance so expensive that a government takeover becomes imperative.  It’s an all-out assault on the private market, according to Real Clear Politics:  Destroying Private Health Insurance

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…The Baucus bill includes an “individual mandate” that requires everyone to buy health insurance-but not inexpensive, high-deductible catastrophic health insurance. Instead, it imposes a requirement for pricier comprehensive coverage that pays for routine costs like annual checkups. The bill then requires that insurance companies provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, and that they charge customers at high risk of medical problems the same rates as those with lower risks-which means that these extra expenses will have to be paid for by raising everyone else’s premiums.

And then the Baucus bill delivers the knock-out punch: after forcing us into expensive comprehensive insurance plans and driving up the cost of those plans, the bill would impose a massive 40% tax on “gold-plated” plans-which turn out to include the health-insurance plans of many in the middle class. So that drives up the cost of insurance even higher…

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And then, when the high premiums resulting from these “reforms” result in people screaming for protection from private industry in the form of a public option and the Supermen of Congress save the day by enacting it, what then?

What should really terrify us, though, is what comes next. What happens after people have been forced out of private insurance and into government-run insurance? Well, that’s already happened for everyone over the age of 65, and Obama’s plans for Medicare gives us a preview of our future under a government-run system. As Dick Morris points out, the elderly have turned against Obama’s plan because they realize that “three-quarters of Obamacare is to be financed by slashing $500 billion from Medicare over the next ten years,” primarily by cutting the fees paid to doctors for their services…

More at the link.

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If you’re not ready to be fitted for your government-supplied nose ring, get on the phone to Congress.  Tuesday, October 6, is National Call Congress Day.  Call your Representative here and your Senators here.

Here’s a shocker.  From the Chicago Tribune, Health care reform: Privately, Barack Obama strongly backs public option

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…President Barack Obama has long advocated a so-called public option, while at the same time repeatedly expressing openness to other ways to offer consumers a potentially more affordable alternative to health plans sold by private insurers.

But now, senior administration officials are holding private meetings almost daily at the Capitol with senior Democratic staff to discuss ways to include a version of the public plan in the health care bill that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., plans to bring to the Senate floor later this month, according to senior Democratic congressional aides…

More at the link.

If you are a doctor who is opposed to government-run health care or know someone who is,  here’s an urgent message for you:

1. CALL THE WHITE HOUSE ON MONDAY!
The President is meeting with a hand picked group of docs who agree with him. He needs to hear from doctors in the community who disagree with him.  CALL ON MONDAY TO:  202-456-1414

2. Encourage your Physician Colleagues to do the same.
Forward this email to your medical associations, post the phone number on doctor dining room bulletin boards and talk to your colleagues in the corridor. 202-456-1414

3. ENCOURAGE YOUR PATIENTS TO CALL THE WHITE HOUSE TO SAY “NO TO MANDATES, NO TO RATIONING and THE PUBLIC OPTION”.
202-456-1414

From the Tenth Amendment Center:  Will Florida Ban National Health Care?

In response to what some opponents see as a Congress that doesn’t represent their interests, State Legislators are looking to the nearly-forgotten American political tradition of nullification as a way to reject any potential national health care program that may be coming from Washington.

The most recent effort comes from Florida State Senator Carey Baker and State Representative Scott Plakon, who this week filed a proposed State Constitutional Amendment (HJR37)PDF as a means to prevent Floridians from being affected by any Federal Health Care Legislation.  If approved by the legislature, Florida residents could be voting on it as early as 2010.

HJR37 would deny the ability of any new law to impose demands, restrictions or penalties on health care choices on Floridians. Versions of proposed federal health care reform legislation have included insurance coverage mandates, and certain penalties on employers who fail to provide employee health insurance.

More at the link.

Florida follows Arizona’s example:  Article: Ballot measure seeks to solidify right to private health care in Arizona

Arizona voters will be asked to reconsider a ballot measure that would prevent residents from being compelled to join a government- run health care system and guarantees the right to purchase private health insurance.

On June 22, the Senate voted 18-11 to pass HCR2014, which will appear on the ballot in 2010.

More at the link.