We need to be vigilant in investigating the ramifications of the Pelosi Health Care Bill. Some provisions sound so outrageous as to be considered impossible to fathom, but they’re right there in the bill in black and white. For instance, page 297 of the bill explains the punishment for not purchasing government mandated health insurance. If you don’t buy what the government considers “acceptable health care coverage,” you’re going to be hit with a tax of at least 2.5% of your income. And if you don’t pay that new tax, you could be fined as much as $250,000 and sentenced to up to five years in prison.
Pelosi "Health Plan" Should Be DOA
But here’s the thing: they have to make the penalty for opting out very harsh in order to force us to buy coverage. The only way to keep this government run health care plan afloat is for everyone to buy into it – especially young and healthy people. That means that they will have to penalize citizens if we choose not to buy a plan that will cost a minimum of about $15,000 per family per year.
The bill that came out of the Senate last month – the Baucus Bill – does just the opposite. It calls for a much lighter penalty ($750 maximum) for people who don’t buy government approved health coverage, making it cheaper to pay the fine than to pay for the coverage. (And with a recession on, who can blame families for not wanting to pay $15,000 for a government mandated health care plan?)
But here’s the kicker: the bill also forces insurance companies to cover everyone, regardless of pre-existing conditions. Think about what that means. A lot of people – especially young and healthy people – will just pay the penalty instead of purchasing coverage because they’ll figure that it’ll always be there if they get sick, as government has promised. That’s what will happen, and when it does it will totally undermine the very concept of “insurance” – which is basically a group of people pooling their resources over time to cover themselves for a rainy day, paying while they’re healthy so that they’re covered when they’re sick. Those who are healthy now pay for those who are sick. If your insurance pool only contains sick people, it’s a bust. And that’s what this government plan will be. Without all of those young and healthy people paying into the pool and defraying the costs, the government will have to pony up more and more money, and who knows how long the whole crazy plan will last before it goes broke – and our country with it!
That’s where we are with this bureaucratic mess: either the government penalizes people so harshly that they could be hit with huge taxes and even possible jail time, or the government makes the penalty a slap on the wrist and undermines the plan from the get-go. Forcing individuals to buy health insurance seems unconstitutional, yet Congress wants to foist it on us anyway. Proponents of government controlled health care will say, “But we’re made to buy car insurance and home insurance, what’s the difference with health insurance?” It’s apples and oranges. Auto insurance is a state law requirement, and people can always choose not to drive. Banks might require you to have home owner’s insurance, but again, you choose to own a home, just as you choose to drive. You have no choice at all when it comes to this federal government health care insurance mandate.
There are other ways to reform health care without violating our Constitution and our personal liberties. Let’s get back to discussing market-driven, patient-centered, result-driven solutions, like, for example, allowing people to purchase insurance across state lines, tackling existing government waste and fraud, and reforming medical malpractice laws (tort reform) to stop unwarranted lawsuits that force doctors to order unnecessary procedures just to cover themselves.
Please let your Senators know that the Pelosi Bill should be dead on arrival. Once we go down this big government path, it will be virtually impossible to reverse course. Let’s fight for the reform that makes sense for Americans before it’s too late.
- Sarah Palin