Thursday, June 20, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, January 22, 2010
Conservatives Deserve a Voice Toward Real Health Reform
By Heritage Foundation @ 12:36 PM :: 3082 Views :: National News, Ethics

Tuesday's election in Massachusetts sent shockwaves across Capitol Hill as voters rejected the idea that the only true course for health reform was to raise taxes, raise spending, raise premiums and put the federal government in charge of yet another unpaid-for entitlement crisis.  Campaigning as the 41st vote against Obamacare and the fiscally-irresponsible policies of the Obama administration, Senator-elect Scott Brown (R-MA) seized on the frustration Americans feel toward the direction Washington is heading.  But saying 'no' to Obamacare is only a first step.  It's also critical that conservatives continue to offer alternative solutions to the health care and entitlement problems that our nation faces.

Make no mistake; conservatives have been offering solutions to our health care problems throughout 2009.  You wouldn't think so if you listened to liberal leaders in Congress who continue to label Republicans as the "party of no" and accuse them of offering no alternatives. As Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) incorrectly stated: "The minority has offered no alternatives, just apocalyptic rhetoric."  Just because liberals like Senator Levin choose to ignore conservative solutions does not confirm they don't exist.

The Patients Choice Act of 2009 (H.R. 2520 and S. 1099), offered by Congressmen Paul Ryan (R-WI), Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC) would have replaced the existing patchwork system of tax breaks with a universal system of tax credits.  The Improving Health Care for All Americans Act (H.R. 3218), sponsored by Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ), would have allowed Americans with employer-based coverage to keep it and would also have extended tax breaks to Americans choosing to purchase insurance on their own, or provided a voucher for those who don't pay income taxes. The Empower Patients First Act (H.R. 3400), sponsored by Congressman Tom Price (R-GA), would have reversed current tax inequality by extending tax credits and deductions to all Americans, regardless of whether they receive their insurance from their employer or purchase it individually.

This is not to say that these are the only alternatives that will work, nor does it imply that we are stuck choosing one or the other. This is to say that conservatives have been offering alternatives throughout this debate, and it is high time both sides of the aisle have a voice in reforming the health care system that affects every single living American. The Heritage Foundation has been a leading voice in the efforts to reform our health care system for decades. There are several principles that conservatives can rally around to achieve meaningful reform that doesn't break the federal government in the process:

Tax Equity: Today, if an individual purchases health insurance through their employer, they receive unlimited tax breaks on the value of their insurance. But if you purchase your insurance on your own, you receive no such benefit. This is inequitable and regressive. Ideally, Congress could replace the current tax exclusion with a system of universal tax credits. But at the very least, Congress should provide tax relief for those who purchase coverage on their own, and redirect other health care spending to help low-income individuals and families purchase private health insurance coverage.

State-Based Reform: Every state is different when it comes to health care challenges. Some states face high rates of uninsured citizens while others face spiraling costs. Instead of a federal one-size-fits-all approach, Congress should embrace federal-state partnerships that preserve diversity in the states. The states could devise their own way to achieve reform, like a mechanism for portability (i.e. take your insurance from job to job). Individuals should also have the freedom to purchase insurance from any trusted source and not be restricted by where they live (i.e. buying insurance across state lines).

Entitlement Reform: Not only are Medicare and Medicaid increasingly costly, they're not delivering value to American taxpayers. If health providers could compete directly for the business of seniors and the poor, the cost-curve would truly be bent and private innovation would flourish. Right now, the tsunami of entitlement spending is on an automatic course for disaster, with locked-in spending, and more to come. Long-term costs of entitlement programs must be built into the annual budget process so Congress can no longer ignore the crisis that is continually pushed off on future generations. Americans can no longer blindly pay into an entitlements system that offers little incentives to providers to offer better value to the consumer and the funding taxpayer.

Yesterday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) admitted that the House does not have the votes to pass the Senate version of Obamacare. Some liberals, including President Obama and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) support pulling out what they consider to be popular provisions in Obamacare and passing those separately. As the President told ABC News: "I would advise that we try to move quickly to coalesce around those elements of the package that people agree on." Unfortunately, this is not reform, but another rushed effort to pass bad legislation before the politics get worse for Democrats. Instead of rushing through this bill in a piecemeal fashion, it's time to start over. Starting over is not a bad thing, nor is it obstructionism. It's pure common sense. Regardless of anyone's intentions, Washington liberals cannot spin gold out of Obamacare.

As Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) said on Tuesday, “there’s going to be a tendency on the part of our people to be in denial about all this ... Whenever you have just the furthest-left elements of the [Democratic] party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country, that’s not going to work too well.” It's time for all elements in Washington to choose between giving the federal government more control and more spending obligations or to develop solutions that will transfer direct control of health care dollars and personal health care decisions back to individuals and families. Let's listen to the American public and start the conversation on true bipartisan health care reform where everyone has a voice, including taxpayers and consumers.

---30---

RECENT ENTRIES

QUICK HITS

  • Yesterday, President Obama proposed liberal bank reforms and announced his intention to fight with the recovering financial sector, and against financial profits.
  • Stocks tumbled yesterday as Wall Street reacted to President Obama's bank "reform" legislation. The NYSE composite dropped 2.1% and the Dow dropped 2%. All but the S&P 500 are now down for the year.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is privately not supportive of President Obama's punitive bank taxes. He's concerned the "reforms" will negatively impact American banks' global competitiveness and not address the root problems of the financial crisis.
  • New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hammered the President's plans for the financial sector saying Obama will cause massive layoffs, unemployment and suggested Washington lawmakers' salaries also be put in escrow for a year so Americans could similarly judge their success.
  • According to the Index of Economic Freedom, in the past year, the United States has suffered the largest drop in economic freedom among the world's twenty largest economies. It’s clear why our economy is failing to generate jobs. For more information, visit www.JobsandFreedom.com.
Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

Affordable Hawaii Coalition

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT