Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Democrat Congressman Says Republicans Want Sick Americans To Die; Sensible Reform Ideas

As support for the Democrats’ version of health care reform continues to decline (now way below 50% of Americans), conservatives and Republicans have been experiencing increasingly reckless and disgraceful charges from Democrats. The worst, the most toxic and tragic of all, of course, is the Democrat charge that opposition to their health care plans is racist. Now comes a charge that is not so toxic as it is bizarre.

Florida Democrat Representative Alan Grayson charged yesterday on the floor the United States House of Representatives that the Republican health care plan is for Americans to die quickly (link): "If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly," he said. He characterized America’s current health care system as “a holocaust in America.” Evidence? -- I suspect in his mind nothing more than the failure to see things the Democrat party way.

This from a Democrat whose party currently wants to cut Medicare spending by half a trillion dollars. This from a Democrat whose party, in the Senate Finance Committee bill, among other things, wants to turn Medicare patients’ doctors into personal death panels by incentivizing physicians to reduce spending on medical care, a subject of my last post (link).

Most Americans are smart enough to know that we have the best medical care system in the world (link), despite what detractors try to prove with dishonest statistics. We need to improve our system, yes, but most Americans now recognize that the Democrats are trying to throw the baby out with the bath water on their quest for socialized government run heath care.

Once again, I quote Peter Wehner, who recently wrote (link) that “Obama’s critics are now routinely labeled as unpatriotic, racists, liars, mobsters, evil mongers, practitioners of un-American tactics, and more. As Obama’s failures mount up, it will only get worse. The volume will only get louder. And the charges will only get more desperate and incendiary.”

Republicans and conservatives have lots of ideas and plans for responsible heath care reforms (link; link). For some sensible proposals, see these from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (link), summarized here (link):
  • Modify tax policy to eliminate the disincentives for individual purchase of health insurance and health care.
  • Eliminate regulatory barriers that prevent small businesses from cooperatively pooling and self-insuring their health risks by liberalizing the rules that govern voluntary health-care purchasing cooperatives.
  • Eliminate laws that prevent interstate purchase of health insurance by individuals and businesses.
  • Eliminate rules that prevent individuals and group purchasers from tailoring health insurance plans to their needs, including federal and state benefit mandates and community rating requirements.
  • Eliminate artificial restrictions on the supply of health-care services and products, such as the overregulation of drugs and medical devices, as well as state and federal restrictions on who may provide medical services and how they must be delivered.
  • Improve the availability of provider and procedure-specific cost and quality data for use by individual health consumers.
  • Reform the jackpot malpractice liability system that delivers windfall punitive damage awards to small numbers of injured patients while it raises malpractice insurance costs for doctors and incentivizes the practice of defensive medicine.
John M Greco