UPDATED 8/21/09 Recently, our Government has worked feverishly on bailout bills and stimulus packages. Too many elected officials failed to even read the contents before offering their stamps of approval.
Now our Government is busy trying to ram through health care reform legislation at breakneck speed.
Will a Government-run health care program produce better results? Will it improve health care for those unable to afford it? Who will pay for health care reform? Will health care reform save money?
Critics of President Obama’s Healthcare Plan say the answer to these questions is a resounding “No”.
AMAC is strongly opposed to such a drastic change to our health care system. We firmly believe that our health care system, though not flawless, is the greatest health care system in the world. We also believe that significant improvements can be made to our health care system by means of capitalism and free enterprise – not through a system run by the government.
As an American, you have the freedom to make your own health care decisions, along with the guidance of your trusted doctor. Imagine this freedom being stripped away by your own government.
Under proposed health care law, your freedom to choose your own doctors, treatments, procedures, and hospital needs would be limited. Government controlled health care would mean rationed health care. There would be waiting lists for MRIs, CAT Scans, and other potentially urgent tests, and the government would decide who should be on those lists… not your doctors, who know your situation best.
You would be forced to allow the government real-time access to your bank accounts so it can process electronic funds transfers of your money. You would be forced to schedule end-of-life meetings with your doctor every five years when you reach age 65.
Aside from the personal freedoms that would be lost, a government-run health care plan would result in a more inefficient marketplace. Need proof? Just take a look at the Medicare system. The federal government has not proven itself to be a model for health care efficiency. According to the Medicare trustees, the Medicare Trust Fund will be insolvent by 2017. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that individual and corporate income tax rates would have to rise by about 90% to finance the projected increase in spending through 2050, increasing the taxpayer burden tremendously.
The federal government sets its own rules and there is nothing fair or level about them. According to a 2009 Lewin Group study, Medicare’s current reimbursement policies pay hospitals only 71% of private rates and doctors 81%. To quantify, a 2006 Milliman study found that Medicare ultimately shifts an average of $88.8 billion to the private market each year. A government-run plan would create an inherently unlevel playing field that would drive private insurers out of the market over time and dismantle the employer-based health care system.
A new 5.4% surtax on successful small businesses would force job losses during the deepest recession in the United States in a quarter of a century. This tax increase is pegged to both small business payroll and profits – small businesses fighting to make ends meet and preserve jobs will be subject to this tax. An employer mandate to provide health insurance and subsidize employees’ premiums would create a new payroll tax of 8% in lieu of providing health insurance coverage. A 2009 study by the National Federation of Independent Business Owners (NFIB) found that an employer mandate would result in a net loss of 1.6 million U.S. jobs between 2009 and 2013. Small businesses would be hit the hardest, accounting for an estimated 66% of job losses. A tax increase coupled with an employer mandate would put many small businesses in the undesirable position of deciding between job cuts or shutting their doors. Terrible news for an already wounded economy.
AARP has angered many of their members by backing a government-run plan. In our opinion, the AARP-backed plan will actually hurt many seniors and increase their medical costs. If a government-run plan is implemented, consumers will ultimately be left with only one choice – the government plan. This plan would be financed on the backs of small businesses that are struggling to make ends meet.
If you want to be able to choose your own health care plan and which doctor you visit, there are things you can do to effectively advocate. Tell your congressman and two senators to oppose a government-run health insurance plan. Attend a town hall meeting with your member of Congress and your state’s two senators. Engage your local chamber of commerce, rotary, and civic organizations in the grassroots campaign. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
Join AMAC. We have members in all 50 states and are growing, but we are tiny compared to AARPs 26 million members. We need your support. Call 1-888-262-2006 or join online and join us in a good fight. Let AMAC be your voice in Congress.