Fighting back on health care reform

Published 2:24 pm Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dear Editor,

Last Sunday was a sad day for America and a sad day for Alabama when the U.S. House of Representatives passed what Democrats called health care “reform.” Despite the protests by rank and file Americans from Washington state to Florida, the Pelosi Congress ignored their concerns and pushed an egregious measure down our throats.

When something is reformed, it generally means it is improved upon. But in the case of health care, Congress didn’t merely fix what was wrong; it went way out of bounds by creating new layers of bureaucracy, mandates and regulations on individuals and businesses. The effects of this bill will have an enormous negative impact on the economy of the country at a time when businesses, families and retirees are struggling to make ends meet.

The Tenth Amendment provides that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” That is why we have authored legislation (HB498) that says no person, employer, or health care provider shall be compelled to participate in any health care system. In order for our proposal to become law, the people would have to ratify it at the ballot box. The bill is House Bill 498, assigned to the House Health Committee, and Rep. Blaine Galliher (R-Gadsden) has asked Chairman Mike Millican (D-Hamilton) to give it a hearing as soon as possible.

First, it was bailing out, at taxpayers’ expense, big corporations for failing their fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders. Second, it was a multi-billion dollar cap and trade bill to make the country “greener” and save energy. And now, it is an overhaul of health care disguised as “reform” when, in fact, it is the government-run delivery of medicine, who pays for it and how it’s paid.

Ronald Reagan often remarked that the most frightening words an American could hear are, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” We all know that whatever government runs can be run more effectively and efficiently in the private sector. The proposal passed Sunday night will create 16,000 new jobs. But those jobs are in the enforcement division of the IRS to go after employers and individuals that don’t adhere to the language of the bill. Some experts who have studied the legislation predict health insurance premiums will rise by as much as 60 percent.

America was established by hard-working people who fled government oppression and excessive taxation. It is beyond troubling that this Congress would turn a deaf ear on the cries of ordinary citizens who want to be left alone to work, raise families and retire without the shackles of government regulation.

We may only be two legislators in Alabama, but we are not giving up on the wisdom of the people. We urge you to support House Bill 498.