Monday, December 28, 2009

Ideology - Contrasting Views on Health Reform Bill

What a strange contrast we find ourselves in —a clear majority of Americans is opposed to what health reform bills offer ; congressional representatives know they are acting against the will of the people, and they have just accepted borrowed money for their districts and states to compensate for their unpopular actions. Meanwhile Democrats are proclaiming their vote is historic, and Republicans agree.

“This vote is indeed historic. This Congress will be remembered for its arrogance, corruption and stupidity. In the year of 2009, a Congress ignored the coming economic storm and impending bankruptcy of our entitlement programs and embarked on an ideological crusade to bring our nation as close to single-payer, government-run health care as possible. If this bill becomes law, future generations will rue this day and I will do everything in my power to work toward its repeal. This bill will ration care, cut Medicare, increase premiums, fund abortion and bury our children in debt.”

“This process was not compromise. This process was corruption. This bill passed because votes were bought and sold using the issue of abortion as a bargaining chip. The abortion provision alone makes this bill the most arrogant piece of legislation I have seen in Congress. Only the most condescending politician can believe it is appropriate to force Americans to pay for other people's abortions and to coerce medical professional to take the lives of unborn children.”

Senator Tom Coburn, R, Oklahoma, December 24, 2009

“The United States stands on the verge of the most significant change to our health care system since the 1965 introduction of Medicare. The bill that was passed by the House and a parallel bill before the Senate would cover most uninsured Americans, saving thousands of lives each year and putting an end to our status as the only developed country that places so many of its citizens at risk for medical bankruptcy. Moreover, the bills would accomplish this aim while reducing the federal deficit over the next decade and beyond. They would reform insurance markets, lower administrative costs, increase people’s insurance choices, and provide “insurance for the insured” by disallowing medical underwriting and the exclusion of preexisting conditions. And the Senate bill in particular would move us closer to taming the uncontrolled increase in health care spending that threatens to bankrupt our society.”

“The current bills are not perfect. The Senate Bill has a mandate that’s too weak and doesn’t provide enough insurance to low-income individuals, and the House bill doesn’t do enough to control costs. Nevertheless, passage of a hybrid bill would be a major accomplishment and a turning point for our dysfunctional health care system. We should constructively support Congress’s efforts to create a combined bill, rather than leveling unsubstantiated criticisms from the sidelines.

Jonathon Gruber, PhD, “Getting The Facts Straight on Health Care Reform,” New England Journal of Medicine, December 24, 2009

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