by DEVIN NUNES
Yesterday, the House passed Speaker Pelosi’s vision of healthcare in America. Here is why I voted “no” and why the American people should re-examine the Democratic leadership of our nation.
First, I do not accept the premise that it is necessary to upend the health coverage currently available to all Americans for the sake of covering those who are uninsured. Expanding access to insurance is far less complex and far less costly than Democrats would have you believe. It does not involve a government takeover of 1/6th of the American economy. It involves insurance market reform but it also and more significantly involves providing choice and competition. The bill I support, the Patients’ Choice Act, provides the framework for such an effort. However, my views were not considered nor were the views of other lawmakers who sought to improve the system we have today. That’s because Nancy Pelosi and her liberal associates intend to destroy private healthcare with the ultimate goal of a Washington centered government healthcare monopoly.
Even before this monopoly takes its final form, the Democratic bill will speed our nation into financial crisis. Simply put, we can’t afford a new government healthcare program—a fact acknowledged by the President and Congressional Democrats. This is why they claim their reforms cost nothing; that it will actually reduce the debt. In truth, the bill conservatively spends a trillion dollars and the final toll on our budget will be many times greater than the initial cost. In their urgency to enact their plan, Democratic leaders papered over the financial problems we face with new government agencies and creative accounting gimmicks. Ultimately, the mechanisms created by this new law will force federal bureaucrats to ration benefits to control spending—a practice that is already common in government programs such as Medicaid.
Unchecked federal spending and the new entitlement just created should concern every American. Our nation’s long-term financial outlook is worse than at any point in American history. Spending by the federal government outpaced revenues by $1.4 trillion last year and the red ink continues as far forward as we can see. In the real world, this financial condition would result in bankruptcy. Washington, however, can print money and borrow from foreign governments as long as those foreign powers are willing to keep us afloat. Any bets on when the Chinese will cut up the U.S.A. credit card?
The logic behind Speaker Pelosi’s health bill math defies common sense. Indeed, anyone claiming to make things cheaper by having the government provide it would do well to delegate financial decisions to someone else. A quick glance at the Treasury Secretary’s annual financial statement is all the proof we need. The United States is in a financial freefall and a new government healthcare entitlement will only make things worse. Existing entitlement programs like Medicare have unfunded liabilities amounting to $43 trillion—a figure that grows by nearly $2 trillion per year.
If all of these facts were not enough, the Democrats enacted their new law as a result of bribery. The American people have heard about many of the deals made prior to the vote. The Cornhusker Kickback, Florida Gatorade, and Louisiana Purchase are but a few examples. It is a national disgrace that our Congress has become an institution dependent on extortion to enact major legislation. And while the process is not easily discussed or understood, we cannot ignore the historic level of oppression implemented by Speaker Pelosi’s Rules Committee in her effort to gain passage of the bill. As much as the content of the bill itself, the manner in which it passed Congress provides clear evidence that the bill was about government power not the health of America.