February 22nd, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today urged members of Congress to “reject Barack Obama’s government takeover of the nation’s health care industry that merely combines the House and Senate versions with the same $2.5 trillion price tag.”
As reported by the New York Times, the Obama proposal “sticks largely to the version passed by the Senate in December.”
“This is pretty much the same government-run health care proposal that the American people have already rejected. It’s just like the House and Senate versions that have already passed that will cost some $2.5 trillion over ten years once fully implemented,” Wilson said.
According to Rasmussen Reports, 61 percent of voters say they want Congress to start over on any health care legislation. 58 percent oppose the bill in its current form, which only 39 percent support.
“Obama’s plan will still ration care away from seniors, drive Americans off of their private health options and onto a government-run system, reduce quality, increase premiums, and saddle taxpayers with runaway costs, more spending, confiscatory taxes, and a debt that can never be paid,” Wilson explained.
Wilson added that the Administration plan “proves that Barack Obama has no intention of negotiating with Congressional Republicans in good faith, since his proposal does not address the continued, legitimate concerns of the American people.”
Today, the White House released its latest proposal on WhiteHouse.gov. According to the website, “Millions of families will receive hundreds of billions of dollars in tax credits to help them pay for insurance in the new exchanges… The Act also provides financial assistance to reduce out-of-pocket costs for moderate and low-income eligible Americans.”
“In other words,” Wilson said, “Barack Obama’s program will directly subsidize health coverage to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending — which is exactly what the House and Senate versions do. It says it right there on the White House website.”
“The American people are not stupid,” Wilson added. “They know that the nation’s unsustainable entitlement programs are already risking a sovereign debt default, and they know adding hundreds of billions of dollars to the debt by expanding the health care entitlement will only increase those risks to taxpayers.”
Wilson noted that the mandate for the American people to obtain insurance is still included. According to the White House, “all Americans who can afford insurance will have the responsibility to purchase it.” Wilson said it was unconstitutional.
“Congress has no constitutional authority to pass a law to force individuals to purchase anything, let alone health insurance coverage,” Wilson explained.
Wilson described the upcoming meeting February 25th meeting as “nothing more than pure political theater to create the illusion of bipartisan approval of his proposal, which is just more of the same: a government takeover of the nation’s entire health system.”
Wilson pointed to comments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s legislative director Wendell Primus stating that the reconciliation process was “the only way” for Congressional Democrats to pass their bill as evidence “Pelosi and Reid are not starting over; they already have a plan to pass the legislation in its current form.
In a recent oped published by ALG News, Wilson wrote the parliamentary maneuver would eliminate the Senatorial filibuster and weaken the nation’s two-party system. Wilson warned that if Congressional leaders were successful in implementing the legislation via reconciliation, that the process could be used to enact other controversial bills that cannot garner 60 votes in the Senate.
Speaking at the Academy Health National Health Policy Conference, Primus said, “The House would have to take up [the reconciliation bill] first because it would involve revenue changes and then the Senate would pass it and then I think hopefully with the passing of that legislation, the House, only then would take up the Senate bill and pass it… The trick in all of this is that the President would have to sign the Senate bill first and then the reconciliation bill would be signed second and the parts of the reconciliation bill that trump the relevant portions of the first signed bill.”
Instead, Wilson called for the process to end, concluding, “The debate on ObamaCare is over. The American people have spoken. They have repeatedly rejected the government takeover of the nation’s health system, and they are growing weary of Barack Obama’s insistence that he knows better than they about what is good for the health of their families.”