Working Hard For You
MORE ABOUT HEALTHCARE
Over the last few weeks I have received some very interesting responses to my previous newsletter. It seems there are a fair number of people who have a greater faith in government than I do. It may be the fact I have been on the inside and it has made me more skeptical, but I believe it is a healthy skepticism. Not only does government usually cost more and operate less efficiently, but we should always keep in mind the more government is involved the less freedom we have.
The parallels between health care reform in Oregon and on the national level are striking in two different ways. Both efforts want to create a program with more government control
over traditionally private sector activities. While I find this very troubling, this may not be the most alarming aspect. What I find even more troubling is the seeming willingness in both cases for the Legislative Branch of government to cede authority granted them by the Constitution to the Executive Branch. One should keep in mind that nowhere in either the US or the Oregon Constitution is the authority to regulate health care granted to either Congress or the Oregon Legislature; however these bodies have been invested with the authority to set laws and review regulations. With the creation of the Oregon Health Authority and whatever President Obama chooses to call his organization we see a clear transfer of legislative responsibility to the Executive Branch,
and this will come with very little oversight.
The public sentiment for President Obama’s “public option” has been very negative. You need to know House Bill 2009 from this last Legislative Session (Oregon’s main health care reform bill) had a public option imbedded in it. It is not easily visible, as it was left to the Oregon Health Authority to implement. In fact most of the provisions relative to reform were taken from the jurisdiction of the Legislature and given to the Health Authority. The last time I checked it was the legislature who was elected by the people to make such decisions and we are now deferring to a board appointed
by the Governor without any direct accountability to the people.
Is our health care system broken? The answer is yes, but we should not be so quick to look to government as the solution. One should keep in mind that to a large degree the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid 60’s has led us to our current crisis. While both programs were clearly well intentioned, they have had a negative dynamic impact on the system. For the most part this is because the government is now setting the price of health care services but reimbursing most states only a fraction of the prices they have set. I am not sure how one can justify attempting to solve a problem by turning more control of
the situation over to those who created the problem in the first place.
The state of Texas currently has a nine billion dollar surplus in their budget. This is primarily because they do a good job of utilizing their abundant natural resources; unlike Oregon which
pretty much prohibits the use of any of ours. The Governor of Texas said just the other day the implementation of the Obama plan would break the state’s budget. Imagine what it would do to us. We may not have to wait; however, as the cost of implementing our own health care reforms will break the bank before the Feds even have a chance.
Both the Oregon plan and the Obama plan will require the government to collect a lot more information about you than they already have. They will need to have all of your personal healthcare information, your personal financial information, and the information
of your employer, physician, and hospital. This clearly violates the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Amendments to the Constitution, but we are told it is for the “greater good”, whatever that means. I personally think the government already has more information about me than they need and I don’t want to give them access to any more.
I also do not want bureaucrats making my health care decisions. Make no mistake, hospital admissions, payments to physicians, the allocation of medical devises, and what types of procedures are covered for which groups of people will be strictly controlled. How comfortable are you
in having these choices made for you by non-medical people without your input? I think we should all be outraged. There is no such thing as free health care. These two plans, if allowed to proceed in the manner the authors intend will break the bank at both the state and federal level.
Our greatness as a country is not because we are smarter or taller or better looking than the other people of the world. Our greatness comes from the fact our country was founded on the principle of individual freedom. We should not choose to give up these freedoms. I agreed with the ACLU about protesting several of the provisions of the Patriot Act, as I thought it went too far. I wonder why the ACLU is not protesting this current attempt to invade our privacy. If you look at the history of the world you will find government control of the health care system has been a key component of the creation of a socialist state. My friends, we are better than that; let’s not let our government take us there.
Senator Jeff Kruse
If you are interested in reading my past newsletters please click on my webpage link below: