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01.31.2010 0

Editorial: The Mirage of Bipartisan Health Care Meetings

  • On: 02/08/2010 11:48:59
  • In: Health Care
  • With the seating of newly elected Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, Barack Obama has now agreed to hold televised meetings with Republicans and Democrats on health care reform. This feeble attempt by Obama and the Democrats to look bipartisan is nothing more than calculated damage control trying to prevent the inevitable losses in the coming 2010 mid-term elections.

    According to Politico, Barack Obama stated that he wants to “look at the Republican ideas out there.” But the real question is, where was this idea six months ago when Congressional Democrats were having backroom meetings while crafting a bill like a one-party aristocracy?

    This shows once again that Barack Obama and his Democratic colleagues in Congress will only listen to the American people when they are forced to. And in this case, it took the special election in Massachusetts.

    If this government was truly created “by the people, for the people,” then why was it that the Obama Administration and Congress refused to drop their push for socialized medicine even though the American people were vehemently opposed to it? (Final Health care poll showed 58% opposed the current bill according to Rasmussen Reports)

    And before we get all excited about Obama’s newfound ways, let’s remember he has only promised to “look” at Republicans and not to start over with bipartisan input. In fact, at the Obama-GOP Baltimore confab some weeks back, Obama explicitly said that he had “read every Republican bill.” Apparently, that gem now enters the growing repository of Obama “misstatements.”

    This paper has repeatedly called for Barack Obama and his Democratic majority in Congress to go back to the drawing boards and take an honest and open look at ways to lower costs in the health care industry.

    One major idea that has been ignored by Obama and his cohorts is to allow state-to-state competition. It’s simple, why should someone from North Carolina not be allowed to buy health insurance from South Carolina?

    In almost every case, more competition equals lower prices.

    Another major idea that has been ignored is tort reform. According to Legal Newsline, “the Congressional Budget Office director, Douglas Elmendorf, has said as much as $54 billion could be saved over the next 10 years if Congress enacts legal reforms including a $250,000 cap on damages for pain and suffering and a $500,000 cap on punitive damages and restricting the statute of limitations on malpractice claims.” And this doesn’t even include the likely savings that will occur based upon a reduction of defensive medicine often practiced by doctors today.

    These are just two entirely obvious ideas that have been ignored by the Obama Administration and Congress. They should be included in the mix when Congress goes back to the drawing board. And they should start with a tabula rasa – to be filled in at the will of the American people.


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