So much for “new” health care legislation. What the President has proposed doesn’t change the essential problems with the old health care bills: it is still a move toward one-size-fits-all, government-run health care, which empowers bureaucrats to decide what kind of health insurance all Americans must have and costs taxpayers trillions.
Surprisingly, the new bill does what might have seemed impossible—it makes the old legislation even worse. It raises more taxes, spends more taxpayer money, and creates more debt (though no one knows exactly how much since the CBO says it lacks so many details it can’t be scored). It also creates another government agency. This one is called the “Health Insurance Rate Authority,” and essentially it will be involved in imposing price controls on the insurance industry. Yes, this bill offers new layers of regulations and is an even more pronounce lurch toward government-controlled health care.
Grace-Marie Turner has a great sum up of the legislation:
The much-awaited health-care reform plan the White House released this morning is little more than an amalgamation of the taxing, spending, mandating, and regulating policies of the bills that passed the House and Senate last year.
Instead of offering a genuinely fresh approach, Mr. Obama split the difference between two bad bills that are hugely unpopular with the American people. He would continue to mandate that both individuals and employers pay for health insurance or face fines and penalties. He would expand Medicaid, the most dysfunctional health program in the country. And he would increase fees on insurers and other health companies — fees that will be passed along to consumers in the form of higher premiums.
The big new idea in the president’s plan is to federalize regulation of health insurance, creating a Health Insurance Rate Authority to conduct “reviews of unreasonable rate increases and other unfair practices of insurance plans.” This reflects the overall strategy to give more and more control over the health sector to Washington…
The Obama plan is not an improvement, and it offers Republicans little upon which to build a conversation that could lead to genuine compromise at Thursday’s summit.
The public needs to tell their representatives once again to kill this terrible bill and go back to the draw board to create real positive change in our health care system.