By Christopher Dolan
In last week’s Editorial section, Alyssa Mease stated that “there’s nothing worse than arguing with someone who doesn’t even have the right facts.” I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, many people simply don’t have the “right facts” on the Republican position on health care reform. So, as Mease suggested, let’s get the facts straight. Conservatives, like liberals, want affordable coverage for all Americans. What we absolutely oppose is the method of this completely partisan health care bill.
First, we can’t pay for it. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that this bill will reduce the deficit by $143 billion in its first 10 years. However, the CBO estimate doesn’t include approximately $120 billion in discretionary spending that must be approved every year to continue this program. In just 10 years that will increase to $1 trillion in debt.
Keep in mind when Medicare was introduced in 1965, it was estimated that it would only cost $12 billion in 1990, including inflation adjustment. In 1990, it actually cost $102 billion, 850 percent more than predicted. I fully expect the cost of this new bill to increase exactly the same way. It’s simply not sustainable.
This program also mandates insurance companies to extend coverage at any time, to anyone who wants it. Sounds great, but it makes for extremely bad business. Insurance only works because a large number of people make monthly payments, over time, into a fund, while a very small number of people actually utilize that money at any one time to cover expenses. The influx of people without coverage buying insurance right before they need expensive medical care will drain these funds without ever having paid into them. This mandate will kill private insurance. Period.
These are just two arguments against this bill from the conservative side of the health care debate. We don’t oppose health care reform; we oppose the way the Democrats have enacted it.
Sources: reason.com, cbo.gov, republicans.appropriations.house.gov