Critical Condition

Federal Overreach: A Bipartisan Idea, It Seems

Let’s be clear, there are many ways to create socialized medicine. Many Republicans seem to have forgotten the constitutional limits of the federal government, and, unfortunately, several GOP ideas for federal action would endanger individual liberty and states’ rights.

For instance, supporting the insurance exchange(s) will put insurers, enrollees, and patients under federal control. Furthermore, states can open their own borders to the purchasing and selling of health insurance across state lines. Federal legislation is not needed. States can create their own high-risk pools. States can do their own malpractice reform. The federal government takes over health care bit by bit every time they enact federal laws and impose federal controls over states.

Making a deal to pass a bill that includes these federal actions or any part of the Senate bill will take us into a government-run health-care system. Pooling everyone in a government system, as President Obama says, should not be the goal of health-care reform. That’s a single-payer system. We’re here today in this mess because that’s what was done in 1965 with the enactment of Medicare (single-payer for seniors), which is about to go belly up.

The goal should be to rescue people from Medicare and its rationing strategies, to give health-care dollars back to individuals, to move away from employer-sponsored coverage and middle-class entitlement programs, to encourage individual ownership of portable, truly lifelong health insurance, to encourage and support the practice of medicine by allowing physicians to use their own minds rather than being forced to upend their ethics and comply with government treatment protocols, and to enhance and support medical charity where needed. My organization, Citizens’ Council on Health Care, supports patient and doctor freedom, and that is the only way to achieve true and patient-friendly cost containment.

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