President Obama will be delivering a speech tonight that many feel will be a tipping point, either way, for his presidency. That’s not the point really. Tonight, this speech is a tipping point for the American people. In the news, I’ve been watching sharks swimming, menacingly, off the east coast this week, ready to attack. That’s quite the metaphor for what Congress and the President are doing in the health care debate. They have been biding their time, threatening to push this plan on the American people, and now they are poised to act.
Tonight you will hear many things that sound really good. A good politician can make anything sound good. What remains, however, are troubling facts. And they don’t sound very good.
Fact 1: The CBO says that the current proposals will not lower costs. So when you hear the president talk about lowering costs, remember the facts.
Fact 2: Virtually everyone on both sides of the aisle agree that Medicare will run out of funds somewhere between 2017 and 2020. So, when you hear the president talking about what a “great” government program that Medicare is remember this fact.
Fact 3: When you hear that the Post Office, Fed Ex and UPS are coexisting beautifully together as an example of a government program not running a private competitor out of business, remember that the Post office is the one continually in the red. Also remember that this is flawed logic any way: remember that no one forces you to use any of these postal options to the exclusion of the others. (I have used all three of these options depending on what I need sent and where it’s going.) Government healthcare will be a different story entirely.
Fact 4: Millions of people will lose their current coverage if any government option is in place according to many independent studies. Think about it-why would your employer continue to offer health insurance when they can hand that job over to the government option which will, by design, be cheaper (at least initially). So when the president says that if you want to keep your current policy you can; remember this fact and remember that he is the one who said it might take several years but we would get to a single payer system. This is how he intends to do it.
Fact 5: Social Security is going broke, Medicare is going broke, the government is spending and printing money like it’s candy. Fraud and waste account for around 10% (conservatively) of the money spent in Medicare. So when you hear the president talk about lowering costs, tell him to get Medicare in order first.
Listen to the speech, but remember the facts and don’t remain silent. Call your representatives and tell them to keep government out of health care.