Friday, August 21, 2009

The Individual Mandate: A Union of Big Business and Big Government

Americans for Prosperity

Dear Patients First supporter,

If the liberals in power get their way, government-run health care will be coming your way soon, whether you like it or not. Yet while the current focus has been on the public option or a co-op alternative, we know they are different means to the same end - the government making the decision over which health care options are available to you and your family.

One option they intend to take away immediately is the choice to not buy insurance - the infamous "individual mandate" that none other than Barack Obama campaigned against less than a year ago! (Two of Candidate Obama's ads are shown below).

Obama Ad

In fact, Candidate Obama adamantly opposed such a mandate for the very reason that it will hurt those it is intended to help, at one point stating, "If you don't buy insurance, then you'll be penalized in some way. And the reason people don't have health insurance is because they can't afford it (emphasis added)." Click to listen to Candidate Obama.

After the failing experiment in Massachusetts, others agree that an individual mandate is the wrong direction for America. AFL-CIO chief John Sweeney has called it "unconscionable". And when it was considered as part of a proposed health care reform bill in California, the California Nurses Association (CNA) called it "corporate welfare."

They were exactly right. Every big insurance company is aggressively pushing for an individual mandate, because they want the government to force us to buy their products at the same time they adopt expensive new regulations that will put their competitors out of business.

The individual mandate is also enough for a complete government takeover, because politicians and bureaucrats will get to define what a qualified plan covers, excludes, pays, charges, and every other aspect of health care. You may have a few choices of "private" insurance plans, but they'll really be the same plan designed by the federal government. It is a corrupt deal between big government and big business in which government exercises as much control as it would in a government-run system, but the insurance companies remain nominally private and the profits go to private shareholders.

You can be sure they'll also include lots of expensive new regulations that will push costs up, and the middle class will have to pay not only for our own insurance but also for big tax hikes to finance the subsidies that liberals in power will insist on for lower income people to afford to comply with the mandate.

At this critical time, it's important that you tell your Senator and Representative to beware of false compromises that offer short term political gain at painful, long-term cost to the country and its health. Check out to stay informed of the latest happenings in the health care debate and find out how you can stay active in the fight to stop the government from taking over our health care.


Amy Menefee

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