Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lies, Earmarks And Corruption All In One Bill

Editors note: This just in from Congressman John Hoekstra's official website.
Lies, Earmarks And Corruption All In One Bill
Rep. John Shadegg and Rep. Peter Hoekstra

Washington, Oct 14 -

We are nominating Sen. Baucus' health care reform bill for the Pulitzer Prize — for fiction.

Like works of great fiction writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Joseph Conrad and F. Scott Fitzgerald, the story line of the Baucus bill is not what it seems and is in fact a clever subterfuge of what health care reform will mean for the American people.

Hiding behind this facade is another story about a massive power grab by the Washington political establishment.

The bill is loaded with fiction. To begin with, it purports to reduce the deficit. This is really an Enron-style scam with the bill's massive new taxes starting on day one and its dramatic new health care expenditures, which will far exceed the tax revenues, beginning in year four.

Hence its favorable score: 10 years of revenue, seven of expenditures. In the private sector, people go to jail for this type of accounting; in the U.S. Senate, they trumpet it as good news.

The Baucus bill claims to treat all Americans equitably, yet four states receive Medicaid exemptions — the federal government will pick up the state's share of Medicaid costs — for five years. That means taxpayers in 46 states will subsidize other states, including Nevada, so Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can bring home the bacon and get re-elected.

Sen. Chuck Schumer put in a little-noticed provision that exempts New Yorkers and taxpayers from some other states from the bill's tax on gold-plated insurance plans. The result: The rest of the nation will subsidize the health care of New Yorkers and a few others.

If you're lucky enough to live in one of the favored states, you win. If not, you lose. Guess how many of those states are blue and have Democratic senators up for re-election? Hardly seems fair, does it? Huge earmarks and health care favoritism for states served by powerful Washington elites.

There are other massive earmarks in this bill. Up to $10 billion will go to VEBA, such as the underfunded retirement health care package of United Auto Workers retirees. This may or may not be a good idea, but it clearly does not belong in this legislation.

The bill has huge, new mandated costs on the states for Medicaid, and there are many other costs omitted from the bill that will need to be paid for by taxpayers. The bill claims savings it says will be achieved by reducing reimbursement rates to doctors and hospitals. This has never happened in the past and won't now. It is pure fiction.

There's more fiction in both the Senate and House versions. Despite Democrat claims to the contrary, both will cover illegal aliens and abortion, and virtually no Americans will be able to keep their existing plan. The legislation will cost billions more than estimated. The numbers and the promises just don't work.

Most importantly, and this is what the legislation is really about, the Baucus bill will transfer power from the American people to Washington elites — a power grab far more massive than it appears. Just think about it, the fiction (yes, some would call it lies) you're hearing about today is happening while people are watching.

Imagine what will happen with earmarks, political favoritism and social engineering when the details are negotiated by government bureaucrats, lobbyists and the Obama administration's "health czar" behind closed doors.

Putting politicians in charge will mean health care Soviet-gulag-style. If you're powerful and connected, you'll be just fine. If not, too bad. This is certain to get ugly.

Americans need to recognize what this is about. It is not about the quality or quantity of health care. It is about power, who will have it and who will give it up. It is about fiction. No, correct that — it is about an Enron-style accounting and bringing Washington-style corruption to health care.

Rather than rein in the power and control health care plans have now, and impose savings discipline by shifting that control to average Americans so they can get the care they choose, the bill empowers career politicians in Congress and Washington bureaucrats.

Actually, this bill doesn't deserve a Pulitzer even though it is ingenious and cleverly written — it deserves a criminal indictment for false, deceptive and misleading advertising.

The American people need to stand up and say no to this callous grab of power by Washington elites.

This is the first real test of the Tea Party movement to influence public policy. Americans are counting on their elected representatives to protect them from a tragically flawed health care bill.

Grass-roots America needs to speak out before it is too late. If not now, when? Time is running out.

• Hoekstra is a Republican congressman from Michigan.

• Shadegg is a Republican congressman from Arizona.

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