David Axelrod, the Senior White House Advisor, recently sent out an email meant to calm public outrage and 'dispel myths' about health care reform. In it he quoted President Obama at a recent town hall meeting saying, “Where we do disagree, let's disagree over things that are real, not these wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that's actually been proposed.”
Here is my disagreement with the President and his staff and the whole Democratic Party. I object to the President and Legislators enslaving an entire industry, stripping Americans of their rights and livelihood, and putting them at the mercy of the government for survival. This may sound like one of the President's 'wild misrepresentations,' but it is a very real claim and the essence of the legislation that the President is promoting. For evidence I quote Mr. Axelrod's email (material also available here) under the heading "8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage".
1. Ends Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.
2. Ends Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.
3. Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.
4. Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.
5. Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.
6. Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.
7. Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.
8. Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.
After years of immersion in liberal philosophy, the above proposals may sound like a good thing. Discrimination for pre-existing conditions may be considered unjust. Incomplete coverage due to chronic illness because of lifetime caps may seem unfair. But let's use regular language to explain what the government is trying to do to the insurance industry. Uncle Sam is telling the men and women who make a living by selling insurance policies the following:
You must sell policies to everyone for the same price, no matter how much money you know you will lose in the process (points 1 and 5). You must bear the full burden of their care to extent that the Legislature deems necessary, irregardless of how much it will cost you (points 2 and 3). No matter how much money you lose on the customer, even if it sends your company to bankruptcy and your family to bread lines, you may not decline them coverage (points 4, 6, and 8). Despite the fact your customers are paying much less for their polices than the actual cost of the medical care, you may not increase their out-of-pocket expenses (point 2). Oh, and you've got to cover their adult children too (point 7).
This is slavery. Slavery is what the legislature is proposing for the insurance industry. Imagine such rules being implemented in any other industry. Imagine, for example, if you had the job of mowing lawns and these regulations were established in the lawn mowing industry: Imagine that you were told that you must mow everyone's lawn for the same price, regardless of how many hours it takes to mow or how big the lawn is. Imagine being told you have to accept every customer that came your way for that price, even if you knew you would lose money on the contract. Imagine being told that you had to mow your customers lawn as often as they wanted without charging them any extra. Imagine being told that not only did these customers had lifetime contracts with you, but so did their children. From here it's easy to imagine quitting the business or shooting yourself in the head.
Americans are intelligent enough to realize that the insurance industry cannot continue to exist under the proposed policies. If a company is not allowed to compensate for increased costs by raising prices, what will happen to it? It will cease to exist. Instead of coverage for all, there will be coverage for none. But of course, that may be the true purpose of the legislation- setting our path for true socialization of the entire health care industry.
President Obama and the opponents of freedom in the Legislature figure that Americans won't stir against such abject tyranny because they are picking on a despised industry. President Obama points out that the insurance industry profits have been 'too high.' Apparently he believes it is the job of the government to make sure we don't make too much money. We all have had beefs with insurance companies, so he and our representatives figure we won't mind if the government takes over their jobs. Here they are wrong.
Health insurance providers have been collectively written off as an evil industry in an effort to dehumanize them. We don't think of the reform bill affecting fellow Americans, but that it will punish a greedy profit-seeking industry. But that industry is privately owned and provides employment for over 400,000 Americans who count on those profits to feed their families. They are no different than Americans in any other industry, all of which are profit-seeking. Why should we expect or allow them to roll over and become a national sacrifice?
We will not allow their sacrifice because we know that freedoms taken away from one group of Americans means a loss of freedom for all Americans. If we begin to sacrifice the unalienable rights of some for our comforts and commodities, then our rights will never be safe again. Once we find ourselves outside of the majority interest, we too will find our rights forfeited for the 'good of society.' And so we will fiercely and passionately fight, since our own God-given liberties are at stake, for the rights of the men and women of the insurance industry. We see all too clearly that if they go down, we may find ourselves next on the chopping block of socialism.
This blog can be submitted for White House correction at http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/contact