(CCU Staff) After two years of campaigns, hopeful orations, and double speak, the only citizens experiencing sweeping change may be the janitors on Capitol Hill. With the House passing the Democrat’s health care bill last week, that could change should the Senate follow suit. Failure regarding this bill, the President said, was not an option. But what if that isn’t true? What if failure is part of the design?
One of the hotly contested measures in the Democrats’ bill is an insurance mandate, which would force healthy people who do not use much health care, and often choose not to buy insurance, to purchase coverage. President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and their Congressional cohorts openly profess that such a mandate will lower health insurance costs for the sick, since healthy people pay more in premiums than they receive in claims reimbursements, and these surpluses subsidize insurance costs for the unhealthy. Yet what these Beltway fixer-uppers have not stated is that the mandate might be designed to fail.
To get healthy people to shell out thousands of dollars for insurance policies they do not want, the government would have to institute stiff-as-whisky and hard-as-nails penalties to curb non-compliance. Otherwise, people would find it cheaper to pay the penalty. Exhibit A: Mitt Romney instituted a mandate that Massachusetts employers pay for their employees’ health insurance or face an annual $295 penalty. As $295 is no more than the price of a nice night out in Boston, many businesses paid the penalty, ignored the mandate, and left their employees to fend for themselves. Exhibit B: Forty-seven states mandate that vehicle owners purchase auto insurance. But as Regina Herzlinger points out in her book, Who Killed Health Care?, a lack of aggressive enforcement has produced widespread non-compliance. “Roughly the same percentage of Americans are uninsured [for medical costs]…as lack automobile insurance,” she writes, “[even though] the purchase of automobile insurance is required in all but three states, while the purchase of health insurance is voluntary.”
So why didn’t these designers institute severe penalties for non-compliance and create an aggressive enforcement mechanism? Look in the mirror: Every voter handled roughly, and forced to comply, would become an implacable political foe. The irony is apparent—without the political chutzpa to enforce such penalties, these mandates, in effect, are pointless.
The question arises why politicians propose such designed-to-fail mandates in the first place. The answer is that the mandates appear to be the political equivalent of a free lunch: an opportunity for politicians to promise subsidies (and change) for those who are currently purchasing insurance, without any increase in taxes. But the money for those subsidies has to come from somewhere. Where? Look in the mirror again. In September, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos questioned President Obama regarding that very point. Instead of logically defending his mandate, Obama became visibly flustered, appearing like a politician with his hand in the middle class cookie jar. He had been exposed.
Since history can be our greatest teacher, we need only to look to 2001 to see what will happen should the Democrat’s mandate slide through Congress. During his 2001 campaign, former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey promised to lower the state’s high auto insurance rates by getting tough with uninsured motorists. He said he would arrest offenders and confiscate their cars. The press and voters ate it up. But, after the election, the idea was shelved. It did not take a crystal ball to foresee the TV news images: hard-working men and women in cuffs, asking how, unable to commute to work, they would be able to provide for their families.
In like manner, it does not take a crystal ball to foresee the TV news images of those whom President Obama would have to go after. America is filled with hard-working men and women, just getting by, who are not buying health insurance because they expect they would pay more into the insurance pool than they would take out. These are the people President Obama would have to go after, and fine thousands of dollars (or worse) to make his mandate succeed. But he won’t, he can’t. A mandate means penalties, and penalties are political suicide come 2012…unless the whole thing is designed to fail.
Jonathon M. Seidl is a 2009 graduate of The King’s College in New York City where he studied politics, philosophy, and economics. His writing has appeared in WORLD and online with The American Spectator. He currently writes from Denver, where he works at Colorado Christian University's graduate division.
(Regis Student) President Obama is right. When it comes to healthcare, the status quo is unacceptable. Too many people are without access to affordable health coverage, and millions of people are uninsured through no fault of their own. We need change. But President Obama’s government answer is not the way to go.
Capitalism has been the engine of prosperity for this country going back to its founding. As such, I am now proposing that Congress and the President consider the “Capitalist Manifesto for Healthcare Reform,” several specific, free-market fixes for the healthcare problem. The most critical aspect of reform, and the starting point, must be increased competition—something else President Obama claims to favor.
Putting You in Control: There’s a basic principle in economics that isn’t talked about all that much, but it stands true thanks to human nature: If someone else—a middleman—is putting up most of the cash for something people really want—or need—they’re going to get it more. You’re not worried about the cost—someone else is paying. This is exactly what happens with healthcare.
Government regulation and policies have essentially mandated a third party-based system that forces the consumer to work through health insurance companies, HMO's, employers and other middlemen that pay the supplier. 84% of all personal healthcare spending is made through private health insurance, the government or other private expenditures that are not directly from the patient.
Encouraging the third-party system are tax exemptions for employer-provided health insurance that the millions of self-employed and small business owners and workers who pay on their own do not receive. Own a big business? Congrats—you get a nice little tax exemption for healthcare! Run that mom-and-pop shop down the street, or your own home-based business? Tough. As Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi would put it, “No tax exclusion for you!”
These government incentives, policies and regulations put in place, in large part by the federal tax code, do nothing more than exacerbate the problem. Because of the third-party-payer system, health providers aren’t competing for individual consumers—they’re contending for large corporations like Target and Cisco. The problem here is that individuals are separated from the cost, driving up prices (premiums), and thus taking away decision-making authority of the patient.
Not a day goes by where we don't see commercials for Geico, AllState and other car insurance companies competing over who provides the best service at the lowest price—competition absent from healthcare because of the third-party system. To fix this, the government must equalize the healthcare tax exemption across the board so that everyone, not just middlemen and big business, will benefit from it. That means small businesses as well as individuals, all of whom will then be far more equipped to go out and find an affordable health insurance plan for themselves, their families, and their employees—plans that are right for them.
We should also examine the other policies and regulations that encourage the third-party system. As a result of both of these decisive actions, costs will go down. Making these adjustments to the current system would open up the market to increased competition by allowing consumers to shop around on their own, decreasing costs substantially while maintaining high quality.
Expand the Sphere of Competition: In his recent speech to Congress on healthcare, President Obama acknowledged the extensive concentration of business in the health insurance industry. As he pointed out, “75 percent of the insurance market is controlled by five or fewer companies. In Alabama, almost 90 percent is controlled by just one company.” While there are some issues with the calculation of these numbers, he is generally correct—the market is highly centralized and void of real competition. Another fundamental reason for this problem is again government-created: the inability to purchase health insurance plans across state lines.
Thanks to the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act, which granted states the ability to use licensing laws to prevent trade with insureres in other states, John in Colorado cannot purchase a plan from a company licensed in Arizona; instead, he must buy a plan from a firm in his state. Health insurance is largely regulated by the states, which require that any plan an individual insurance purchaser wishes to buy must comply with all of that state’s regulations. This advantages both insurers and regulators in maintaining psuedo-monolopolies in their respective states, in turn hurting consumers, who have few lower-cost options available to them.
Congress should do what it is granted by the Constitution and mandate that every state recognize insurance licenses of other states. According to the CATO Institute, “Letting individuals and employers purchase health insurance from out of state could reduce the number of uninsured Americans by as many as 17 million, or one-third of the most-cited estimate of the number of uninsured.” An individual state’s regulations, as CATO points out, need not be changed and can be enforced in the other states.
But what about states’ rights, you say? If ever there were an area where the feds can play a legitimate role, it’s this. The Commerce Clause in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution explicitly grants Congress authority to regulate interstate commerce. What was one of the big reasons they did this? Because each state had its own tariffs between states under the Articles of Confederation—basically the same thing as these obstructionist regulations.
By asserting its rightful authority to break down barriers to insurance purchasing across state lines via repealing McCarran-Ferguson, Congress and the President will strike a considerable blow to insurance market concentration, truly boosting the “choice and competition” that Obama likes to talk up. If done alongside dismantling the third-party system, we will see costs begin to lower for everyone—all without a massive, trillion dollar government overhaul.
Jimmy Sengenberger is a sophomore at Regis University, where he hosts an Internet radio show and organizes for conservative causes. This is the first in a series of columns proposing specific, free-market alternatives for healthcare. The next will center on empowering the individual through Health Savings Accounts and prescription drug importation.
Talk about personal responsibility is cheap. Legislating personal responsibility isn't. Take the movement to require everyone to purchase government-approved health insurance.
If at first this seems like a reasonable requirement necessary to reduce cost shifting by those who do not pay their own fare, then step back and think again. The damage caused by such a mandate is far greater than the problem it purports to solve.
Passing a law won't magically make everyone insured any more than laws against speeding cause everyone to drive carefully — and shaving a few MPH off your speed is a much milder behavior modification than involuntarily spending thousands of your hard-earned dollars on government's wish list rather than your own.
Many states, including Colorado, require drivers to have automobile insurance; yet the number of uninsured drivers is estimated at 14 percent nationally and 16 percent in Colorado.
Analyzing the newest health "reform" bill by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the Congressional Budget Office found that its individual purchase mandate would still leave 25 million uninsured — out of some 30 million that CBO says are currently uninsured on any given day.
From a practical standpoint, the requirement to purchase health insurance will start badly and grow even worse. That's because the choice of what kind of insurance to purchase will no longer belong to consumers but to politicians and bureaucrats, relentlessly pressured by lobbyists to add to every conceivable screening or procedure in the nanny-state's wish list to your mandatory policy.
Politicians who resist that pressure and defend your right to choose your own level of coverage will be smeared at election time by dishonest advertisements accusing them of opposing mammograms and maternity care.
Requiring health insurance to pay for preventive screenings is like mandating that auto insurance must pay for oil changes and new tires. Only in health care do we forget that insurance was designed to pay for unforeseen catastrophes, not for predictable events for which we should plan and budget.
These are the types of mandates that turn a practical, affordable policy into an unaffordable one. In Massachusetts, which implemented an individual mandate in 2007, the average family insurance policy now costs $13,788 a year — the most expensive in the nation.
But, true to form, liberals in Congress seem incapable of learning from others' mistakes.
Worse still, the Senate bill's $829 billion cost estimate doesn't attempt to account for the total cost to Americans — only for the cost to government. Factor in the cost to businesses and families of buying government-approved health insurance and the total cost soars to $2 trillion, says Michael Cannon, health policy director at Cato Institute.
If Congress can order us to use our own money to buy goods or services that we might not otherwise purchase, what's to stop it from ordering us to drive hybrid vehicles, install solar panels on our homes, or eat our vegetables?
So let's say someone who still holds to the old-fashioned notion that America is "a free country" decides to spend her own money as she darn well pleases and buys health insurance that doesn't meet government's criteria. Then what?
According to a memo from the Joint Committee on Taxation, such independence would result in a $1,900 income tax penalty from the IRS. Refusal to pay the penalty would subject the taxpayer to a misdemeanor criminal charge carrying a fine of $25,000 and up to one year in jail.
What is so wrong with American health care that justifies this type of authoritarian government? And what does it say about Democrats who would jail those who spend their own money however they choose?
Contrary to President Obama's oft-repeated disinformation, health care spending had nothing to do with the implosion of the financial markets. In fact, the biggest problems in health care and the most expensive problems in government emanate from government health care programs. Medicare, for example, is nearly bankrupt and carries a long-term deficit of $89 trillion.
Only in Washington is it conventional wisdom that the cure for big government's errors is to make them bigger.
Mark Hillman is a Centennial Institute Fellow. He previously served as Colorado senate majority leader and state treasurer. To read more or comment, go to www.MarkHillman.com.
Our ongoing debate about government's role in health care is proving worthwhile because it forces people to focus on the real tradeoffs in a system mandated -- if not directly operated -- by government, rather than one selected by individuals or their employers. Today, our system is a dysfunctional hybrid.
To the extent that we cannot choose the health care coverage we want today, those restrictions are almost always the result of previous government interventions -- tax incentives that make it easier for employers to buy insurance than for employees to purchase their own or laws requiring us to purchase coverage we may not need or cannot afford.
President Obama says all insurance policies will be required to cover preventive care and early screening for various maladies, as if he can forceinsurance companies -- or doctors -- to give us something for nothing.
Well, he can't do that anymore than he can require restaurants to serve a free lunch every Thursday. Even under Barack Obama, Americans cannot be compelled to do business at a loss; they always have the right to lock the doors and close up shop.
That's why there's no free lunch -- or free health care. Politicians aren't "giving" us these services; they are forcing us to buy them -- and to pay more than the actual cost.
It never ceases to amaze when politicians who demagogue against "greedy" insurance companies will, in their next breath, require us to buy things through an insurance company that we could purchase less expensively if wesimply paid out of pocket.
If both you and your doctor know that you need a colonoscopy, how can it possibly be cheaper for you to send your payment to an insurance company, while the doctor files a claim with that insurance company, and the insurance company processes the claim and issues payment -- rather than for you to simply pay the doctor?
Yet ObamaCare would establish a mandatory list of insurable procedures as well as maximum deductibles. For those with money-saving high-deductible plans and health savings accounts -- like the one I've had for 12 years -- thePresident's promise that we can keep the plan we have just doesn't wash.
Americans who are understandably frustrated by health care costs are recognizing that the more control you give to government, <em>the more control you give to government. </em>
Today, if you, your doctor and your insurer agree on a procedure, you make an appointment and "get 'er done." And if you can't agree, you are free to pursue other procedures that you can pay for yourself. (After all, what good is an extra $50,000 in your retirement account if you're dead?)
But if no one practices those alternative procedures because omnipotent health care bureaucrats won't pay for them, you are out of luck.
The larger point is this: Why is it government's business how much you pay, what doctor you see, or what treatment you receive, so long as you are paying the bill?
Health care, like any commodity or service, will always be limited by economic reality. Government health care programs are responsible for more cost-shifting than all of the "uninsured." Yet despite paying below-market prices, Medicare will be insolvent in just seven years and has amassed allby itself a deficit of $37.8 trillion.
If the government is empowered to supervise everyone's health care, then only two outcomes are possible: either everyone's health care is rationed to control costs or no one's health care is rationed and the cost of government health care finally breaks the camel's back, ushering in aworthless dollar, runaway inflation and skyrocketing interest rates.
In either case, our impoverished children and grandchildren will forever curse our self-centered, shortsighted generation.
There can be no health care utopia any more than everyone can enjoy all they want to eat or live in the home of their dreams. Sooner or later, someone must choose between what we want and what we can afford.
Who do you want to make those tough choices -- yourself or someone in government?
Mark Hillman served as Colorado Senate Majority Leader and State Treasurer. He is now a Centennial Institute Fellow. To read more or comment, go to www.MarkHillman.com
Editor: You thought blogging was inherently overheated? This coolly reasoned piece asks for our best as deliberative citizens sifting for truth in the health care melee. Scott Starin is Boulder County Republican chairman, a former candidate for Congress, and an aerospace engineer.
The Art of Persuasion
In his book, "Rhetoric," Aristotle describes three fundamental methods of persuasion. The first method is the reasoned approach. Through logic, reason and historical reference, the persuader builds his argument upon facts and acumen. The second approach is the establishment of expertise. The arguer`s reputation precedes her argument and people are persuaded by the stature of the person. The third approach to the art of persuasion is political rhetoric. Political rhetoric plays on people`s emotions and usually has little to do with logic and reason and more on stirring up passions. This method is, unfortunately, most common in today`s political discourse. In considering the arguments on the current health care debate, it is interesting to listen to those trying to persuade and to decide which of these methods they are employing.
Undoubtedly, there has been political rhetoric on both sides of the debate. Examples of political rhetoric include quoting misleading or exaggerated statistics as justification for radical reform. Often these arguments do not indicate how the current legislation will address systemic problems in the healthcare industry. When you hear about disturbing statistics without tangible solutions, that is political rhetoric. On the other side there have been melodramatic descriptions of death panels or forced inclusion into public options. While there are legitimate concerns about the intent and purpose of the wording of legislation and where the interpretation may lead, people have over-stated the consequences of many provisions. When you hear about extreme repercussions without citation of specific code provision, you are listening to political rhetoric.
I have viewed the seven Colorado House Representatives` and two Colorado Senators` Web sites with an eye toward the type of persuasion they use to present their positions. Congressman Jared Polis` overview on healthcare makes an impassioned plea, stating "... Americans have struggled (with) high costs, inferior care, or no care at all. We must not be a nation where helpless children cannot receive necessary medicine or visit their doctors for routine check-ups because it`s too expensive." Can you feel the emotional tug here? Congressman Polis is a strong proponent of a single-payer system, citing reduced overhead rates as justification. Lacking in his argument, however, are examples of countries where the proposed reforms provide superior care and value compared to our current structure. To his credit, Congressman Polis` Web site does have the text of the bill as well as section-by-section analysis, as written by the majority committees. For completeness, minority summaries are highly recommended reading.
I believe that proponents of healthcare reform, as proposed in H.R. 3200, are losing support from the American people, not because of embellished claims of consequences (although that certainly is a component), but rather citizens are becoming more informed about the provisions of the legislation and the projected costs of these new entitlements. People realize that without massive governmental reforms these revolutionary changes to our healthcare system cannot be sustained in an economically viable fashion. Also, in my opinion, proponents of this healthcare reform are not providing adequate explanations of how this legislation will achieve the promises being made.
In today`s 24-hour media cycle, sound-bite society, it is difficult to present a reasoned argument to the American people on any subject, let alone one as complex and far-reaching as healthcare reform. Reasoned debate and critical thought are required to make meaningful decisions that lead to effective legislation. Those who argue that we must make these radical changes quickly do themselves and their constituents a great disservice. As the debate continues on, listen to those presenting their arguments. Without regard for your own preferences, decide whether the information presented is reasoned thought or political rhetoric.
Our current season of protest, demonstrated by the Tea Parties and the recent health care protests at numerous town meetings around the country, provides an opportunity to observe the leadership of the Democrat majority spinning themselves in circles.
In the waning years of the Bush administration, the nearly constant refrain from Democrats, Moveon.org, and other liberal groups to explain their opposition to anything President Bush attempted was: “dissent is the truest form of patriotism.” The inference was, of course, that in opposing everything the administration attempted, they were actually exhibiting “patriotic” behavior.
We are now in a new era where the political tables have turned. In this new era, we find a White House who has made a request that supporters of President Obama “turn in” the names of people who are opposing his healthcare takeover. We also have an editorial by Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer accusing the opponents of the Obama plan as being “un-American.” From the liberal-friendly pundits, there are accusations that those dissenting from the Obama plan must be “racists” and “motivated by cultural and racial fear.” Somehow dissent no longer appears to be the “truest form of patriotism.”
So what explains their reversal? Why are the President and Congressional leaders, who rose to their current office on an “opposition” platform, so infuriated by opposition? It appears that dissent isn’t such a good thing after all.
The suggestion that “dissent is the truest form of patriotism” is, of course, a rather silly notion when proposed as a general rule. It is like suggesting that dissent for the sake of dissent is the only justification needed in order to disagree. When we review the Democrat/liberal opposition to the Bush administration, it often appears that their dissent was just that: dissent for the sake of dissent. In reality, it was often dissent, veiled as “patriotism”, hiding an unhinged and exaggerated hatred. Under the Democrat model, comparison of Bush to Hitler was patriotic dissent but opposition to a government takeover of healthcare is “un-American.”
So now that the Democrats have gained the majority, they argue that opposition really isn’t such a great thing. So as much of their opposition to Bush was based upon unreasonableness, perhaps they can only assume that opponents of the Obama plans must be motivated as they were. They seem to suggest that dissent is good when they are leading the opposition, but opposing voices to them are intolerable.
President Obama has the healthcare train barreling down the tracks loaded with promises of health insurance for all and no knowledge of the tracks that lie ahead. He has hired Congress to stoke its engine with the wealth of the American people, while burning through trillions of dollars on other efforts to nationalize the private sector.
If real healthcare reform is what the President desires, there is a better way to make health insurance affordable than socializing 15% of the US economy.
One solution has hardly passed the lips of a single politician in Washington. Uncouple health insurance from employment by creating an insurance free market.
Linking health insurance with employment never made any sense. Employers began to widely offer health insurance only after Richard Nixon introduced wage and price controls in 1970. His effort to control inflation by capping wages forced employers to offer fringe benefits instead of higher salaries. When wage indexation finally ended health insurance was inextricably linked to employment.
For the 60% of Americans who receive insurance through their employer, it may seem like an odd idea to unhitch the two, but it makes more sense than you think.
Americans do not clamor for their employers to provide auto insurance even though they drive to work. Nor do they expect the boss to provide food, shelter, and clothing. That is what salaries are for.
Just as there is a competitive market for auto insurance, housing, groceries, and everything else Americans want or need there should be a similar market for health insurance.
If health and auto insurance were sold in a similar way, individuals and families would be free to choose a plan that covered their specific needs and fit their budget. The Cadillac plan in health insurance would cost more than the Hyundai plan.
And, just as auto insurance costs less for those with a good driving record, health insurance rates would be based on an individual’s physical health. Risky behaviors would increase prices while healthy behavior would lower them.
Currently, the health insurance industry is the most heavily regulated sector of the economy. This drives up prices while driving down quality and affordability.
If the government wanted to continue providing health insurance for those unwilling or unable to provide insurance for themselves, the American taxpayer would feel the hit in his wallet a little less because Uncle Sam could also purchase more affordable insurance in a free market.
Purchasing health insurance like we purchase auto insurance would benefit every American and would keep the nation’s healthcare system from hurtling off the tracks.
Might there be a parallel between the situation of America today and that of ancient Israel many centuries ago?
Against God's cautions, as He defined and invited individuals and peoples into face-to-face relationship with Him, ancient Israel asked to return to Egypt as slaves rather than endure the wilderness. Later they asked for judges, then they asked for kings.
America’s founders wisely confined the role of the state to dealing with bad actors, outside its boundaries and within. For the law-abiding masses, the non- involvement of government depended on effectiveness of citizens' consciences and their overarching regard for God.
But current US political leaders, no longer limiting their attention to lawbreakers, now take aim at America’s law-abiding citizery, proposing to serve as their “conscience" by codifying in law the dos and don’ts of our consumption (“cap and trade”) and the dos and don’ts of responsible living (“healthcare”). Sounds like ancient Israel to me.
Will America stay on what some call the riskier path of maintaining the freedom of its people? Or will America veer from the course of freedom and elevate an unknown body of bureaucrats to do the work of the individual's conscience for him -- with a stick?
Will Americans trade our freedom for the uniquely intrusive environmental and healthcare initiatives before us?
How about Nancy Pelosi ranting against health insurance companies, calling them "immoral" and "the villains" in opposing a government takeover of health care (while of course keeping up their saintly and righteous campaign contributions to her). Details here. This is the "big lie" style of demagoguery that Democrats are adopting more and more.
The big lie in this case is Pelosi's and Obama's misdirection of blame. The biggest villains in our massively screwed-up health insurance industry are the federal and state governments and their lobby-driven tax policies, mandates and restrictions regarding what kinds of coverage the insurance companies are permitted and not permitted to offer, plus the market distortions resulting from Medicare and Medicaid and the requirement that coverage not cross state lines. The politicians have assaulted health care economics on all fronts for decades, and now they want to finish it off.
Let us recall how this state of affairs came to be.
During the severe labor shortage of World War II, the federal government enforced wage and price controls in an attempt to control inflation. Companies that wanted to hire workers could not legally attract them by offering higher wages. However, there was a loophole: companies could legally offer "benefits" such as free or subsidized medical coverage that was a tax-deductible expense for the companies.
This was the origin of the widespread practice of third-party payments in medical care, the gradual disconnect between medical supply and demand, and the dangerous idea among so many citizens that someone else should pay their routine medical bills.
But this was just the beginning. Insurance in other areas of the economy works reasonably well. It required much more massive government intervention than this to mess up the works in the health insurance field.
Imagine that the various levels of government regulated home insurance the way they regulate health insurance today. You couldn't buy basic, high-deductible (and affordable) fire insurance, as you do today. You would be required to have flood insurance, earthquake insurance, mold and mildew insurance, broken toilet insurance, roto-rooter insurance, faded paint insurance, broken window insurance, and muddy-feet-on-the-carpet insurance.
Thus your costs of insurance would become unreasonable, maybe even unaffordable. But more importantly, your incentive to maintain your home yourself would disappear, and you would come to believe that your house is not your responsibility any more; that the greedy insurance companies are trying to screw you because they have an army of expensive bureaucrats to examine your every claim, and they don't send someone to fix every little thing that goes wrong with your house. You and the insurance company would blame each other, while the true, unseen culprits were the politicians who set you in unseemly opposition to one other.
Thus the severe problems with health insurance spring from the bowels of the government, which now wants to take dictatorial control over all aspects of your health care, your body and your life.
Our American ancestors would have tarred and feathered the arrogant b******s.
The solution is to go in precisely the opposite direction: bring government regulation down to a halfway reasonable level, such as with home insurance, life insurance and auto insurance, where we don't have government-caused "crises".
But also, retire every last politician in Congress from either party who arrogantly presumes to vote for this outrageous "health care" bill.
Government-run health care just keeps getting better and better. "One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a <!--more-->counseling session every five years (and more often if they become sick or go into a nursing home) about alternatives for end-of-life care (House bill, p. 425-430)," writes Betsy McCaughey in the New York Post. The sessions cover highly sensitive matters such as whether to receive antibiotics and 'the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration.'
"This mandate invites abuse, and seniors could easily be pushed to refuse care. Do we really want government involved in such deeply personal issues? "
So if you're elderly, you're contributing to the national debt and your exhaling of carbon dioxide is contributing to global warming. As ex-governor of Colorado Dick Lamm put it some years ago, you should just "get out of the way".
Lamm was a Democrat, of course, along with the ghouls who are putting together this bill. They call themselves the "Party of Compassion".
Dick Lamm is now 74 years old. If he's an honest man, he'll do his duty any day now.