Only in Washington could a corrupt, deceptive bill designed to steal our liberty, filled with unrealistic cost projections, falsehoods and outright lies be passed off as health care reform. This 2,900- page monstrosity, written in secrecy and passed only by Democrats, is a flagrant abuse of power.
It was a government power grab of 17 percent of our economy designed to redistribute wealth, and an assault on our Constitution shamefully disguised as reform. Lawmakers who crafted the bill have an approval rating of 18 percent. Do you really want to risk your future on politicians who very few Americans believe and even fewer trust?
The process for passage of this bill was so corrupt, so disgusting and so dishonest that Obama was forced to buy off members of his own party just to pass it. I'm sure that Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, our so-called representative, cashed in on his sell-out "yes" vote.
The bill jeopardizes the health insurance enjoyed by 280 million Americans while doing very little to correct problems that everyone agrees exist in the current healthcare system.
Obama claims to be able to add 30 million people to the health care system (16 million people to an overwhelmed, underfunded Medicare system) and not cut any benefits to seniors. He claims you can keep your current plan and doctor, give everyone a tax cut, lower the deficit, lower costs and lower premiums, all which magically will save billions of dollars in the process and create jobs. Common sense dictates that this is complete nonsense.
I can't find evidence of any government program that has ever done that. Many government programs are broke, mismanaged and riddled with fraud and corruption. This entitlement surely will be no different. This is no more than another government-entitlement program funded by $600 billion in new taxes on businesses and those of us lucky enough to still have a job. It includes $528 billion in cuts to senior citizens' Medicare benefits that will undoubtedly cause rationing of care and substantial benefit losses. The bill imposes $136 billion in funding cuts to Medicare Advantage, resulting in 4.8 million seniors losing Medicare Advantage benefits by 2019; cuts to doctor reimbursement rates (21 percent) and $1.3 billion in funding cuts to hospitals that may cause doctors to refuse to treat Medicare patients. A poll found that 46 percent of doctors may retire or quit the field of medicine because of this bill, causing the existing doctor shortage to become much worse.
At a time when 18 million Americans are unemployed (10 percent), personal income has fallen by 3.9 percent, the deficit is estimated to increase by $9.8 trillion by 2020, and New York state is near bankruptcy, can we really afford to spend $1.3 trillion on this unpopular health insurance plan? Obama claims this bill will create jobs. This president has claimed that every policy decision he has made, every stimulus bill passed, every buy-out, every bail-out, every executive order he signed, would create jobs. Well, where are the jobs?
We need good private-sector jobs for hard-working Americans who are hurting. Your job-creating efforts have been a colossal failure, and this healthcare takeover will be another job killer, not a job creater. Economists predict a loss of 600,000 private-sector jobs due to implementation of this bill.
Obama's claims of cost savings and deficit reduction in this bill are ridiculous. The Democrats use fuzzy math, double-counting savings, expensive omissions and budget gimmicks to give the appearance of savings. The opposite will happen. Higher costs and more spending will blow up the budget and drag down our economy for generations. For those of us who get insurance from our employer, do we want our employer to decide if it is cheaper to continue to provide health care or just dump us into a government exchange and pay a fine? Do we really want the government forcing us to buy insurance or face a fine or jail time? Do we want the federal government using taxpayer money to pay for the immoral, horrible practice of performing abortions? Obama suckered phony pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak into accepting a worthless executive order that claims to block the use of federal funds for abortions, but the federal law trumps an executive order, and the order can be repealed at any time, clearing the way for government-funded termination of innocent babies.
Look for more awful details, more harmful unintended consequences and endless problems to surface. I have warned people that elections have consequences. The damage already inflicted on America by this radical president and this corrupt Congress in 14 months is stunning. I lived through the horrible Jimmy Carter presidency and never imagined seeing a more disastrous president in my lifetime. Sadly, I was wrong. God help us all.
Alan M. Rose, a guest columnist, lives in Fonda.