The American people have rebelled against Obamacare because they know our health sector is too big, too complex, and too important to try to change in any one bill written by a few political leaders who don’t know the needs of 300 million individual Americans.
The Senate’s 2,500-page bill will lead to tens of thousands of pages of regulation that will paralyze progress in our health-care system for a generation.
Yes, we need health-sector reform, but Obamacare gets it so wrong that enacting it would be worse than doing nothing.
Independent studies by the Congressional Budget Office, Medicare’s chief actuary, and other experts show that, under the Senate bill upon which Obamacare is based:
· Health costs will continue to rise
· Federal health spending will increase
· People will lose the coverage they have today
· Taxes will increase, hitting the middle class
· Doctors and hospitals will become insolvent
· Job creation will suffer
The American people know this would be harmful, and the latest Rasmussen poll shows that 61 percent say Congress should start over. A poll by Harvard’s Robert Blendon highlights Americans’ views about health reform:
· 45 percent say overall health costs will increase
· 34 percent say their medical care will get worse
· 34 percent say their own health costs will increase
· 79 percent say their taxes will go up
Republicans have two missions at the health-reform summit: 1) explain why the bills the Democrats propose would be so damaging to our health sector and to our economy, and 2) explain that Republicans want to start a process of targeted reforms that build on the strengths of our health-care system.
Our latest paper, “A Primer on Problems with Congress' Health Reform Bills and a Preview of Possibilities with Patient-Centered Reform,” provides details on how to accomplish these goals.
President Obama could use the summit as an opportunity to redefine success by agreeing to incremental steps through a targeted, smaller bill. Such an approach would garner bipartisan support and pass Congress. That is the only way that Democrats can avoid turning health reform and the Blair House summit into a political-suicide mission.
Published in National Review Online: Critical Condition, Feb. 25, 2010.