By Elizabeth Lee Vliet, MD
The Democrats are the bullies in the healthcare sandbox, assisted by the AMA, AARP and unions who stand to gain financially. They are kicking sand in the faces of all us other “kids” on the healthcare playground and keeping everyone else out of theirsandbox. Who do I think are the “other kids” around the healthcare “sandbox” who are NOT being allowed to participate in the Democrats bully box?
– Republicans with creative ideas for free-market solutions rather than government run healthcare
– Dozens of state and some national medical societies with solutions allowing patients choice, flexibility, and affordability, in health insurance.
– Taxpaying citizens who have repeatedly, forcefully, and based on sound facts, tried to express their opposition to government run healthcare.
– Doctors who have expressed opposition to the government interference in the doctor-patient relationship
– Medical educators who should be spokespersons for “best practices” in healthcare
– Moms and dads who don’t want the government telling them what medical care their children must have and the government limiting parental options for treatments.
– Senior citizens on tight budgets who like, and stand to lose, their Medicare Advantage program.
– Business leaders, like CEOs of Whole Foods and Safeway, whose creative, cost-effective, employee-centered, free-market health insurance reforms have saved money for their companies, but earned them protests and vitriol from the sandbox bullies who endorse only government-controlled options
– State legislators from both parties who have proposed free market solutions at less cost with more choice for the public.
– Congressional Budget Office experts who have been “called on the (White House) carpet” for revealing that costs of Democratic proposals are in excess of a trillion dollars over the next decade, massively adding to the staggering federal deficit.
– Governors of all 50 states who are concerned about a federal shift of Medicaid costs to states already suffering deficits in the recession
– Congressional legislators who introduce sane and responsible amendments in committee work only to have them defeated along strictly party lines
– Groups advocating tort reform as a proven way to lower healthcare costs.
With tactics straight out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, the bullies in the Democratic sandbox are demonizing all of us who express legitimate concerns about massive spending, medical rationing, delays in access to care, loss of medical innovation, and loss of freedom to choose doctors and private health insurance plans.
Speaker Pelosi’s latest healthcare monstrosity, the 1,900 page HR 3962, is an arrogant grab for power unlike anything we have seen in our lifetime. It ends private insurance as we know it. Ms. Pelosi’s poison pill…er, bill… has created one hundred and eleven – that’s right, 111 – new federal bureaucracies, oversight boards and commissions and entitlement programs in a massive government take over. Think you will have any remaining free choice in your health matters? Think again. The government will control every choice related to healthcare…and your life.
The elderly will suffer dreadfully under the catastrophic combination:
– 400-500 billion dollars cut from Medicare (to help reduce costs of “The Reform”)
– PLUS more people covered and needing services under Medicare (the Baby Boomers are coming of age)
– PLUS the loss of doctors and nurses. Polls indicate that over half of the doctors will retire rather than practice under a government-directed health program. Doctors face drastically reduced income potential, especially for geriatric-related specialties such as oncology and cardiology.
– PLUS no more hospitals, outpatient centers, imaging centers, etc.
– PLUS new taxes to pay (taxed if you don’t have a government authorized policy, or you want a more comprehensive plan).
To me, this is cruel and inhumane punishment for our seniors. But there is the AARP – right there in the sandbox, kicking sand in our faces by obscuring the fact that AARP stands to gain financially if the privately-run Medicare Advantage is demolished under the guise of “reform.”
These are REAL issues, not “fabrications” as the President said in an October 8 national telephone bully pulpit conference with clergy urging them to support his government-run healthcare program from their church pulpits.
The Democratic bullies in the Washington sandbox are kicking sand in our faces because they think we are too stupid, too blasé or too weak to fight back. In their arrogance, they presume the public is too dumb or disinterested to see through the obfuscation of the real issues. They think we can be confused by words.
First it was public option in, then public option out, then… surprise! “Public option” is back, in both Senate and House bills, put there not by committee action but by decree from behind closed doors. Does changing “single payer” to “public option” to “consumer option” to “opt out option” change a nationally unpopular policy of “national healthcare”? Of course it does not.
These word choice newsbytes just serve to keep our attention diverted from the real goal. But we get it! We see their games. We are angry at being manipulated by power-grabbing politicians who are themselves excluded from the government insurance mandates and penalties they impose on the rest of us.
What about the “doc fix”? This was the one in which Harry Reid’s boys kicked sand in our faces by increasing medical reimbursement to some doctor specialties, but they took this cost out of the health care bill and set it up as a separate bill just to make the cost come in under their magic number of one trillion dollars. Does the sand storm make you angry?
The health system could be fixed relatively easily by addressing portability of insurance to stay with the person, not the job; by allowing insurance companies freedom to offer policies across state lines, as in car insurance; and by enactment of responsible and reasonable tort reform. Why is this not being done? Because they are kicking sand in our faces, and ignoring common sense, free-market solutions.
The Democratic majority, flushed with lust for power, now do anything they wish. They have shown that they do not care if they trample the constitution. They ignore obvious public concerns. They have forgotten they represent a constituency of tax-paying citizens, and NOT their own personal power agenda. They have taken an Oath to uphold the Constitution, but kick sand on that too!
The majority bullies in Washington no longer remember what America stands for. They are now about power. They are about control of every aspect of your life. They are about destroying the American way…destroying our ability to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in ways that each of us gets to decide for ourselves.
Like bully kids in the sandbox, they are kicking sand in our face big time. It is time for us to throw it back. We need to join hands, and let them know we are coming after them to vote them out of office. They will hear our voices and our money in 2010. We will punish those who move to take over our healthcare.
For now, we must stand up and continue to fight to stop the massive government takeover of our healthcare. Washington does not deserve the sacred responsibility of making our healthcare choices after their wanton disregard of our concerns, our right to be involved in the decision, and our personal health freedom.
Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D., is a women’s health specialist who received her M.D. degree and internship in Internal Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, then completed specialty training at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Vliet’s educational medical website is www.herplace.com.