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Rigonomics:

Hold off on health care change

July 31, 2009|By Jim Righeimer

The House of Representatives adjourned this week, and the Senate will adjourn next week on Aug. 8. Not a day too soon. When all is said and done, this Congress will have spent more money than any other Congress in its history by a factor of two times. Luckily for us the clock is running out and they will not be able to vote on any health-care-reform legislation until they get back from recess.

My thinking is that before we change the whole health-care system in this country completely, it is probably a good idea that everyone involved — including the American public — take a deep breath, relax and understand what Rep. Henry Waxman and Speaker Nancy Pelosi want to do with your health care. This change will have more effect on your health care than Sir Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin.

Whatever Congress wants to pass can wait until they get back from their summer break in September. Anything that affects 17% of the United States total GDP should be thoroughly thought through. The Obama Administration’s concern is that the earful Congress is going to hear when they go back home could kill their plans for the government takeover — or, excuse me, the “public option” — of health care. They are very concerned about the newly elected Democrats who just won seats in previously Republican districts. Those districts are more conservative and are not as likely to keep someone in office who just voted out their existing health-care plan.

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All you have to do is read the letters to the editor in any newspaper and you see a lot of Americans are not happy with the health-care system. I would be the last person to say that our system does not need improvement. But I am not willing to throw out the whole system and do a wholesale change. The idea that 14% of Americans do not have health insurance is not a good enough reason to blow up the insurance that 86% of the country does have. We need to find a way to help that 14% get coverage without risking the 86% that do.

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