By Elois Zeanah
President Obama continues to blitz the airwaves. My message is not breaking through, the President of the United States complains.
Mr. President, the problem is not that we aren’t hearing you; it’s that you’re not hearing us! Let’s see if we can clear communications over this land-line.
When asked about why your message is not resonating, you say: The opposition has made a decision. They are just not going to support anything, for political reasons.
Mr. President, concern that you’re wrecking health care for 97% of Americans to subsidize insurance for 3% more Americans is not political. Pardon me, but it’s irrational! The realization that you over-exaggerate the number of “uninsured Americans” makes us cynical. Our concern that your “reform” is a calculation to grab more power and more of our money to spread around is not political. How many times have Republicans, Independents and Democrats explained that we ran your numbers? They don’t add up. In case our message did not get through, here’s a rundown of your numbers:
#1 UNMET PROMISE: PROPOSED BILLS DO NOT COVER EVERYONE
The 47 million “uninsured Americans” is a fabrication. The number is closer to 10-16 million. A close analysis of the same Census Bureau data you used reveals:
- Millions of citizens covered by Medicaid and S-CHIP were undercounted.
- Millions who have access to Medicaid and S-CHIP but choose not to take it until they are sick were counted as “uninsured”.
- Millions who earn $70,000 and over and can afford insurance were included as “uninsured”.
- Millions of illegal aliens were counted as “uninsured Americans”.
The real number of “uninsured Americans” is about 3% of the total population. Opposition is not political! Your proposal seems reckless. Further, analyses show that despite spending over a trillion dollars in start-up costs, the House and Senate bills would still leave about 16 million Americans uninsured. So promise number one that everyone will be covered is not met.
Do I hear static, sir?
#2 UNMET PROMISE: PROPOSED BILLS DO NOT LOWER COSTS
Then there’s that troublesome little issue of affordability. Your premise that you must overhaul the health care system to curb unsustainable costs so that everyone can afford insurance seems to have fizzled.
Mr. President, concern that your own Congressional Budget Office says your plan will not lower insurance costs and the assessment by the non-partisan Heritage Foundation that private coverage for the typical American could go up as much as $460 per year due to new price controls set in the legislation – well, somehow our confidence crumbles. This is not political. It’s grave concern that Americans will pay more for less, have less choice and less competition, and be burdened by more onerous taxes and deeper deficits.
#3 UNMET PROMISE: AMERICANS CAN’T KEEP INSURANCE
And all that talk about how you will make sure that every American who likes their insurance and doctors can keep them? Well, Mr. President, that isn’t true either, is it now? The non-partisan Lewin Group reports that almost 50% of private insurance holders will lose their coverage and be shifted to the public plan. That’s just to start. How many more of us will fall like dominoes behind those?
And, oh, Mr. President, there’s that thorny issue about Americans being able to choose a plan like Congress. Remember what you said at a town hall meeting on August 11th? You stated, “That’s what the health exchange is all about, is that you – just like a member of Congress – can go and choose the plan that’s right for you.”
That warms our heart. But when I checked, your plan for typical Americans is nothing like the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program that only you, Members of Congress and federal employees get. Mr. President, surely you wouldn’t mislead us. Did you know that the FEHBP system has no government-run public option competing with private plans?
Is that stuttering or static on your end, Mr. President?
#4 UNMET PROMISE: WE CAN’T TRUST GOVERNMENT MORE
Mr. President, Americans want true health care reform. We have a problem. Americans pay 18% GNP for health care while most other advanced countries pay 10% and have a longer life expectancy. Yet medical costs in the U.S. continue to rise rapidly. Something must be done. But before we give up the best health care system in the world, we have a few questions:
Why should we trust a president and bureaucrats, who have never had to meet a payroll, more than we trust free market enterprise?
Why should we trust a president and bureaucrats to takeover the health care system when fraud in government health care programs runs 15% and fraud in the private sector is 1%?
Why should Americans trust a president and bureaucrats to keep the private sector honest when government will not hold itself accountable? For example:
- Social Security is a great program, but Congress couldn’t keep its hands off our trust fund. Congress has stolen over $11 trillion from our Social Security trust fund and now seniors are scared about its future.
- Medicare is another program that works well, but once again Congress couldn’t keep its hands off our money and Medicare now has $38 trillion in unfunded liabilities.
- Government has been unable to stop the estimated $224 billion in fraud every year in Medicare and Medicaid. Criminals live high-faluting lifestyles while seniors worry that Medicare may go bankrupt.
Mr. President, if you’re sincere about cleaning up the fraud mess, why are you waiting?
There are so many other examples of how the President and Congress have been unwilling to use current laws on the books and their oversight authority to rein in abuses in government and in the private sector. Instead, government declares emergencies and uses our tax dollars for bailouts for private industries that use the same accounting gimmickry that government uses. This does not breed trust.
Bottom line, Mr. President, why should Americans trust you and unaccountable bureaucrats with one-sixth of our economy when you haven’t proven that you are trustworthy?
I’m listening for your answer, Mr. President. What’s that? How this line been disconnected?