I've read about your colleagues' new health care proposal, and once again, I have to voice my strong opposition to their plan.
First and foremost, the fine requiring people to buy health coverage is unconscionable. How can the government force anyone to buy anything? It has been compared to fines on uninsured motorists, but frankly the analogy doesn't hold true. Motorists place other people's property and lives in danger when they get behind the wheel, so forced insurance is a reasonable measure. But just as we don't issue licenses to live, we cannot fine people for their lifestyles. This is not a fine; it is a tax on the uninsured disguised as a fine, made even more plain by the fact that the "fine" would be collected through the income tax system.
Second, the public option. I repeat: a public option is unacceptable to me. While I do not begrudge government subsidies to those struggling families and individuals who cannot afford private plans, I will not support any plan that calls for a public option. Doing so may drive down costs, but in the long run it will raise taxes on everyone. Not one plan presented by any lawmaker or the administration itself that includes a government-run plan can pay for itself without raising taxes and/or the aforementioned fines. Lack of a public option, on the other hand will keep government costs down dramatically; and as more people buy private plans, the health care and health insurance industries will boom, creating much more revenue than any plan with a public option ever could.
Private insurance companies don't need to compete with the government, Senator. They have themselves for competition. If the government wants to reform the industry or add more oversight, then I'll be glad to listen to any proposals you and your fellow legislators may have. This proposal, however, is the definition of "unacceptable."
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