Friday, June 5, 2009

The Kennedy Health Care Plan

Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, the Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has come up with a new health care proposal. Well, it's not really a proposal. In the words of the committee's spokesman, it's a "draft of a draft". Which means it's not too late for you all to write to your senators and get it struck down.

Here's a copy of the letter I wrote:

Dear Senator,

As you no doubt know, Senator Ted Kennedy has drafted a bill that would, among other things, require employers to offer health care to their employees or pay a penalty. Senator, as a former businessman, I'm sure you know that health care is one of the greatest costs to any business. With the economy in its current state, can anyone honestly expect businesses, especially small businesses, to continue operating smoothly under what amounts to a whole new operating tax?

The bill would also increase the amount the government spends on entitlements, rather than reducing it. The new "affordable access" plan that he proposes would basically expand government health care to anyone who doesn't qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, or any other program not already in place. Even if Congress can find the money to pay for it, this would mean another expansion of government-run health care.

Senator, Congress cannot keep adding programs and spending to the budget. And it cannot keep dictating to private businesses. It must work with the private market to produce and present sustainable solutions to the public. Instead of mandating that businesses provide coverage, give them tax breaks to incentivize employer-coverage. Instead of requiring insurers to provide coverage for all comers, which would be the health care equivalent of subprime mortgage loans, provide incentives for insurers to offer competitive prices to their customers. Instead of forcing private insurers to compete with a government system, give the government less to do, shift the burden to private insurers, and lessen the eventual tax burden on the American public. All this talk of taxes on sugar and health care benefits is a debate that we shouldn't even be having.

I know that you take this issue seriously, Senator. I hope to help in any way I can.


Stephen Monteith

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