Last weekend Democrats in the U.S. Senate took another step toward passing their government run healthcare legislation. The more we have come to learn about this legislation, the more we all have cause to be concerned about this plan. It fundamentally does not focus on patients or on quality care. In fact, it is a fiscal albatross for our already ballooning federal budget deficit.
This proposal will cost taxpayers up to $2.5 trillion, create a massive new entitlement, raise taxes, add to the federal deficit and fail to solve our nation’s health care crisis. It is the kind of big government answer that we have come to expect from Democrats, particularly my opponent, Barbara Boxer. It is the same answer that has proven to fail this country time and time again.
Among the many problems with this legislation, of significant concern is the impact it will have on the ability of doctors and individuals to make decisions about care, particularly for women. Last week a government appointed panel issued a set of recommendations regarding mammograms and self-exams for women in their 40s and 50s. Specifically, this panel discouraged women from self-exams, said women in their 40s should not get annual mammograms as is currently advised, and recommended women in their 50s get mammograms just every two years. As a breast cancer survivor who found my own cancer through a self-exam just two weeks after a routine mammogram, I was alarmed. To be honest, if I had followed these recommendations I am not sure what my own prognosis would have been.
This panel’s recommendations were more about costs than about saving the lives of women from one of the most common and treatable cancers our nation. While the Obama Administration tried to calm the outrage created by these recommendations by saying they were just recommendations, Democrats in Congress were moving to give this very same panel more power over healthcare through the bill they moved forward with this weekend.
This bill actually gives much more power to this very same government panel. In fact, this panel would play a role in determining what care and preventative tests should be covered under the new system Washington seeks to create. In short, it is a serious step toward government intervention and away from patient and doctor control over individual healthcare decisions.
This is the kind of approach we have come to expect over the last year. Whether it was with the stimulus package or this health reform package, the Democrats’ clear solution is more government intervention and more government spending. As a businessperson I look at these programs and ask “what were the results?” The answer: massive deficit spending, higher unemployment and more government involvement in our lives.
Rather than continue down this path toward approving a bill that prioritizes politics over quality healthcare, our leadership should put problem-solving over politics. Any change to our health care system should pursue solutions that would ensure quality of care, better access to quality health insurance, and stimulate competition in the health insurance market. These goals can be achieved by pursuing free market solutions instead of more big government.
Read the op-ed on BigGovernment.com here