Tea Partiers Engage in Arizona

September 22, 2009 by  

While 1.8 million Americans gathered in D.C.  to protest the direction Congress and the President are taking the country, 1,500 excited Arizonans gathered at Arizona’s State Capitol for the same reason – In case you missed it, here are my remarks:

I have a question for you – if you tuned into the President’s health care speech to Congress this week, were you convinced?  I didn’t think so.  I didn’t think so because you’re here!   And I would be willing to bet not a soul paid you to be here.  You heard about the ad on Craig’s list offering $10-$15 to Obamacare supporters to help them get their reformplans through.  And they call US “astroturf”!

I don’t think any of us needed Congressman Joe Wilson to point out last week that the President isn’t being honest about his plans and no amount of wishful talking – ‘wishful talking’ because it’s difficult to give them credit for thinking – any thinking person can figure out that if government hasn’t proven its ability to run healthcare by now – it certainly isn’t about to start – and no amount of wishful talking can change that.

#1.     He’s not being honest because he’s still defending the need for government to “compete” with private insurance to control costs.  Government is the cause of the high costs.  Medicare is unsustainable now and is slated to go broke in 2016 even though the program underpays doctors and hospitals 20-30% below the cost of care.  These costs are shifted to private insurance, making them much higher than they should be.

Government needs to have less of a role – not more!

#2      He’s not being honest when he claims you and your present insurance plan won’t be affected – that you can keep the plan you have.  Oh no you can’t.  When government makes the rules by which their competition plays – rules eliminating medical underwriting and forcing newly insureds into ‘one-size-fits-all’ plans with benefits they may not want or need – When government makes the rules, it sets up an unlevel playing field and private companies won’t be able to compete.  So there will be an expiration date on the insurance plans you and I have and eventually, there will be nothing but a government option. 

#3      He’s not being honest about the costs.  To implement his plan without adding to the deficit, it will have to entail all of the woeful details otlined already – “pay or play” mandates on business and individuals, job-killing surcharges and tax hikes, cuts to Medicare, and shifting costs to the states through a huge expansion of Medicaid.  In five years – increasing Arizona’s AHCCCS budget by between 1.2 and 5.9 billion dollars. 

#4      He’s not being honest about your ability to get the care you need – when you need it, because efforts to curb waste and abuse include an “advisory” panel that will “advise” doctors on what treatments work best.  A definiton of “waste and abuse” would be helpful here.  It might not mean what you and I think of when we think of government waste and abuse – like the N.Y. dentist who billed for 991 procedures in one day.

It will mean the health care you may need at some point in your life – won’t be available when you need it because rationing will be essential to controlling costs.

Last year my mother finally had her knee replaced.  She had put it off as long as possible but other treatments and temporary measures were not working for her anymore and the pain forced her decision.  She came through the surgery and physical therapy beautifully I’m thrilled to say and has been walking pain free and is back on the golf course.  She won’t mind me telling you – my mother is 86.

I can’t help but wonder what criteria a government “advisory panel” would have used to decide whether or not my mother would have been eligible for this surgery if Obamacare had been in place.

We know if she lived in Canada, she might still be waiting for her first MRI.  The U.S. has five times as many MRI units per million people as Canada and three times as many CT scanners.  There is no wait for you to get your cat-scanned, of course – or your dog, but your mother will wait 17 weeks to see a specialist, and months or years beyond that for the actual surgery.

But let’s suppose the President signs some kind of health care reform bill – maybe one without a government option or that triggers one if insurance costs or the number of uninsured don’t decrease within a set period of time.  Will that be any better?

If the President forces a plan promising a lesser role for the Federal government – something he’s been talking about now for months – insurance reform or a non-profit co-op, the bill – even without a government option – still takes us to a single-payer system.  Only on the installment plan.

Which is why passing the Arizona Healthcare Freedom Act will be essential if anything like what Congress has proposed is enacted.    What is the AZ Healthcare Freedom Act?

It will do two things – protect you from being forced to purchase any particular health plan and guarantees your right to purchase and receive health care.  The AZ Healthcare Freedom Act is the backstop for citizens’ healthcare rights and, if passed at the ballot next year, will keep your healthcare choices intact in Arizona.

Arizona is the first state to successfully refer the issue to the ballot – so far – but nine other states are following our lead and plan to introduce the measure next year – and there are likely to be as many as 15 states. 

What provision in the U.S. Constitution gives the Federal government the authority to force you to purchase health insurance?  And not just any health insurance – the kind they demand.  It’s an amazing question, is it not?

An amendment to Arizona’s State Constitution will challenge the Federal government’s claim and will stop a federal takeover of your healthcare in Arizona.

Last year when this innovative ideas was very narrowly defeated – by less than 1/2 of 1% – the well-funded left pulled out all of the stops to defeat it.  They hammered the message that it would destroy AHCCCS and cost you more for health care.  Next year, we can expect no less from those who want a single payer system to take hold. 

We don’t know exactly what they will claim next time, but these will likely be among them:

They will claim the measure will limit your choices when, in fact: the AZ Healthcare Freedom Act will guarantee them.

They will claim the insurance companies (and their money) are behind the measure – but the truth is the insurance industry opposed the Healthcare Freedom Act this session because it didn’t protect them.

They will claim we want the status quo and oppose any reform – but the truth is we want real reforms – reforms that keep health care decisions in the hands of doctors and patients – not the government.

The President has stated again and again that Americans should have choice and competition when it comes to insurance options.  The AZ Healthcare Freedom Act will guarantee citizens that choice.

Sign up on the website today and find out more.  Help by spreading the word to your friends – and be ready to vote for the measure next year.  The website is www.AZhealthcareFreedom.com.

We can’t take our healthcare freedom for granted. 

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