When President Barack Obama states that we can’t wait to implement a government sponsored healthcare reform, the public needs to be wary. The administration that sold us on transparency has been anything but.
The President almost immediately broke an ethics reform promise that definitely would have set his administration apart from any of his predecessors. He slammed the previous administration as one of secrecy and chicanery. President Obama stated that he would establish a five-day waiting period that would allow the public to view any bill for five days on the WhiteHouse.gov website prior to his signing.
The poster children of this rush to sign “emergency” legislation are the stimulus and the cap-and-trade legislation. What did we actually know about these bills prior to their signing? What percentage of legislators read or had their staff read the entirety of these bills?
During the Cap-and-Trade debate 300 pages were inserted the day of the vote in Congress. How is it possible to be a responsible legislator when an informed judgment is made impossible? The easy answer is that it isn’t supposed to be possible. The intention is to keep the public and legislators in the dark until after the bill is signed. This is why Mr. Obama’s five day waiting period is ingenious, not as a political tool, but to actually give power to the people; this may be why it hasn’t been implemented.
Now the “crisis” of the United States healthcare system is being pushed by the administration. The more urgent the tone, the more the public is concerned. They see this as just a slick salesman plopping down a contract and telling you not to worry about the details – just sign it and your problems will go away. Because of this approach, the public sentiment has shifted drastically in the past month to the point that more people oppose the current proposals than support it. People want reform. There are issues with the insurance rules that cause the people fits, but not the delivery of their healthcare. This is why they have understandably lost faith and cannot trust what is presented to them.
There are several proposals in the House and Senate, but none are the finished product. How can we reasonably accept such a sweeping piece of legislation without having all of the details? One thing is reasonably certain; the president admitted among a friendly audience of left wing bloggers that he couldn’t answer them on the provision that would not allow someone to leave a private plan for another private plan. It was brought to the public’s attention when an Investor’s Business Daily editorial found this provision and revealed it to its readers last week.
The need for a massive takeover of the healthcare system should be re-evaluated and re-thought. There is no shortage of healthcare; those who need it, get it. It has been illegal for decades to turn someone away in need of care. There needs to be some rule changes for those affected by pre-existing conditions and other hot button issues; but to bring the entire industry under the thumb of the federal government either now or through the eventual bankruptcy of current insurance providers is not what we need. This will have the devastating effect of providing an ever changing level of need balanced against a finite amount of resources. With cost containment certain, more expensive options will be dropped in favor of less costly and possible less effective means of treatment.
We don’t need to follow Canada, Great Britain or other models where advances in medicine have slowed. We simply need to reform the industry to assure coverage for those who cannot afford it. One large sector that Congress refuses to consider is an amendment to exclude illegal immigrants from the federal government plan. Where is the common sense?
We should all be wary. We need the transparency that this administration promised on the campaign trail. We need this bill posted on-line for all to see prior to any signature from the president.
Mr. President we can wait, we can wait for the right type of reform.