Democrats in the House of the Representatives this week introduced their long-anticipated plan to reform the nation's health care system. Simply put, it is worse than anyone could have imagined.
Euphemistically titled "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009," the 1,018-page bill is filled with massive tax hikes to be levied against individuals and small businesses. It expands on and creates brand new federal bureaucracies empowered with overseeing your family's health care decisions if not charged with making those decisions for you. And, according to Investor Business Daily, "[r]ight there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal" if you leave your current plan and wish to buy private individual insurance for yourself and your family.
That's before factoring in that nearly 120 million people will be forced off their private insurance and into a government-run plan while still leaving 34 million Americans uninsured. Or the fact that the legislation comes with a $1 trillion to $2 trillion price tag.
For months, President Obama has stressed the need for reform, rightly arguing that the current system is economically unsustainable. Reform must drive down or bend the curve on rising health care costs, he argues. But there is only one problem. The House Democrat plan fails miserably at reducing costs. In fact, if passed, it will exponentially raise health care costs in this country while reducing quality of care.
According to Doug Elmendorf, Director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the proposed health care reform measures being offered by Congressional Democrats would actually increase public spending on health care. During testimony this week before the Senate Budget Committee, Elmendorf said "the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health-care costs," and would not "bend the cost curve" downward. Rather, "[t]he curve is being raised," he said.
Higher taxes, increased health care costs and reduced quality of care in the name of "reform" should be more than enough to seriously disturb most Americans. But if you are really wondering what your health care will look like under the government-run plan offered by President Obama and Congressional Democrats, take a look at the chart below produced by Republicans on the Joint Economic Committee of Congress:
Think your family's health care decisions should be made between you and your doctor rather than a morass of bureaucracy making them for you?
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