Monday, August 17, 2009

Government-Run Health Care By Another Name

Americans for Prosperity

Dear Patients First supporter,

In the past few weeks, Congress and the White House have faced a popular uprising against a Washington takeover of our health care. Thank you for taking part in this uprising, and take heart that your voice is being heard. In fact, a recent Rasmussen poll showed 54 percent of respondents think we would be better off DOING NOTHING than passing the bill currently in Congress. Only 35 percent thought we would be better off if the health care bill passed!

This has forced some Democrats to reconsider their demand that a government-run health insurance plan (they misleadingly call it the “public option”) be a part of any health care bill brought to the president. In its place, attention has turned to a co-op, the centerpiece of a bill being put together by the Senate Finance Committee.

This has been touted as a compromise, but just last month Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said: “We’re going to have some type of public option, call it ‘co-op’, call it what you want.” So while the phrasing might have changed, the goal of a government takeover of health care remains the same. The co-op is just the same government-run “public option” plan under a new name.

We have to beat the public option/co-op, but we can’t stop there. Mandates and subsidies will still allow Washington to take control of our health care. If politicians mandate by law that everyone has to buy health insurance, that means they also get to define what counts as health insurance. That gives Washington the power to regulate every aspect of what a "qualified plan" includes, excludes, charges, and pays.

If we are to preserve our right to have our choice of doctors, keep timely access to health care and retain control of our health care decisions, we must continue to tell the White House and Congress to keep their Hands Off Our Health Care!

In the coming weeks, it is important that you let your Congressman and Senator know to resist false compromises – those that put the government between you and your doctor or place costly mandates on individuals and employers, which will only drive up the cost of insurance and limit the type of coverage available.

Real reforms should focus on bringing more choice, individualized treatment and affordability to our health care system. As the health care debate continues to develop, check out our Patients First website and blog at for up-to-date information on events and breaking news on what’s in store for your health care.

Also, see if our Patients First bus tour is coming to your area! We’re in Indiana and Iowa this week, and Arkansas, Louisiana and Missouri the next! Click here to check our schedule. Hope to see you soon!


Amy Menefee

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