I would like to respond to the article written by Congressman John Salazar in the Sunday edition of the Steamboat Pilot & Today.
John Salazar’s claims that he talked to a lot of folks here in the Steamboat area about health care is not only disingenuous, it borders on an outright lie! I e-mailed him persistently in August about when are we going to have a town hall meeting about health care and did not hear anything back from him or his staff. Nor did he ever have a town hall meeting.
Moving further into his article, there are more disingenuous claims, such as the House’s version will cut the deficit by $109 billion, by cutting inefficient administration costs from Medicare for example, and “Waste Fraud and Abuse.”
How many times have we heard that Medicare is more efficient and has less administration costs than private insurers? Did this change all of a sudden to sell the bill? How many times have we heard about “Waste Fraud and Abuse”? But now we can save billions? How come they are not doing that now? And how would you know John if you and your colleagues have not read the bill? And because, John, you are talking about Medicare, it cost 10 times what it initially was estimated. If they are off that much again, it will explode an already embarrassing deficit. Any bets here? John, you should worry more about current spending and deficits before wading into any more budgetary quicksand!
Especially because the bill front-loads the taxes and back-loads the benefits to obscure the real costs of the reform package you’re trying to sell to us. This is typical smoke and mirrors coming out of Washington that “We the People” must demand be stopped.
Defying the laws of economics also is a significant component of this bill. Since when did it ever occur in history that the price of something dropped when demand (forcing all citizens to purchase health care) increases and forcing private insurers to cover pre-existing conditions? Does anyone really think that our premiums are going to go down? I have a bridge to sell you, as well as some swampland!
Yes, we need reform. We need tort reform, and we need to increase competition by allowing us to purchase health insurance across state lines.
We need to give and get the consumer more involved in their health care purchases by removing or limiting third party paying. We need to get rid of the mandates on hospitals and insurers that drive up costs.
And most of all, we need to get the government out of health care! As President Ronald Reagan said many years ago, the government is not the solution but the problem.