"Harry Reid still doesn't have the 60 votes needed in the Senate
for cloture on the so-called 'public option,' and so Senate Democrats
have begun watering down their proposal. Really, this is the beginning
of the end. They are fleeing for the lifeboats on a political Titantic."
—ALG President Bill Wilson.
September 21st, 2009, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today slammed Senator Max Baucus' "chairman's mark" on the Senate Finance Committee's version of the "ObamaCare" proposal as "just another means to the end—socialized medicine in trick or treat garb."
Baucus sought to create a plan without the so-called "public option" as a means of garnering support for health care legislation that could pass this year. Wilson said it doesn't matter.
"This is still a government takeover of the health care industry," Wilson said. "The proposal creates government-run 'co-ops' to administer care in place of private options. It still sets up a rationing board. It still forces Americans to be insured or else pay a fine. It still does nothing to allow Americans to purchase insurance across state lines. It still expands Medicaid. It still increases taxes. It still has no tort reform. And it still adds to an already unsustainable debt."
"It may move a little slower toward the goal of a single-payer system, but there is no question that under the Baucus proposal, Americans would be tricked into getting a treat that would crush our health care industry," Wilson added.
Wilson said the proposal would ultimately result in Americans "being forced off of their current health care plans—which are excellent—and into a government-regulated co-ops that will drastically increase in costs since insurance policies will no longer be based on individual risk."
Wilson pointed to provisions that force insurers to take on riskier patients without charging more for the premiums. "As a result, the associated risk costs will be passed on to everybody, distributed throughout the system, which means rates will go up. At the same time the quality of everyone's coverage will be watered down to pay for the uninsurables. And individuals will have no choice but to buy the plans per the mandate."
Wilson said that the system would not be pay for itself, and would lead to greater taxpayer-subsidized health care. "To make up for the inevitable shortfalls and deficits that will be endemic throughout the system, taxes under the plan will be raised on businesses and individuals."
The Baucus bill is said insure an additional 26 million individuals that Wilson says could cost as much as $1.22 trillion over ten years. The average cost for an insurance premium is $4,700, according to the National Coalition on Health Care. "That's about $122 billion extra every year we don't have. That's on top of 'stimulus' and TARP and all the rest of Barack Obama's record-setting $1.85 trillion deficit. Under the Baucus proposal, the American people will be dealt yet another unsustainable entitlement that over time will totally consume the public treasury," Wilson said.
Wilson credited concerned citizen efforts nationwide, including ALG's 400,000 member activists, who have called, emailed, wrote letters to, and visited with Congressmen at their offices and town hall meetings for persuading many elected officials to vote against the bill. He said public opposition to the bill "is the only reason lawmakers are now considering removing the public 'option.' Only, the American people still do not want the total destruction of private health care now being proposed."
According to Rasmussen Reports, 56 percent of voters now oppose the plan. And Barack Obama's public disapproval has sunk to the 52 percent mark for the first time in his term.
"Harry Reid still doesn't have the 60 votes needed in the Senate for cloture on the so-called 'public option,' and so Senate Democrats have begun watering down their proposal. Really, this is the beginning of the end—they are fleeing for the lifeboats on a political Titantic. Nobody wants to be left without a seat," Wilson concluded.