Questions for Sala…Czar | AspenTimes.com

Questions for Sala…Czar

Dear Editor:

I got a chuckle reading a recent letter to the editor lauding Congressman Salazar for his “courageous” vote in favor of the deceptively titled health care bill: Affordable Health Care for America Act. The letter applauded Salazar for facing up to the lobbyists, which I found laughable considering the bill is driven by payoffs to special interests.

But if Salazar were truly courageous, he would hold a public town-hall meeting to “face” his constituents. Instead, he was one of the few congressmen who never held a town hall in person because, he said, “I think that open town hall meetings on such an emotional issue aren’t very productive.”

If he had the courage to face his constituents in person, he might have to answer questions from “emotional” people who have a hard time believing politicians’ promises to implement a $1.2 trillion-plus new entitlement and not add one dime to the deficit. Following are some questions:

1. How can politicians make believable promises considering that in 1967, the year Medicare was created, politicians promised it would only cost $12 billion per year by 1992 when it actually cost $110 billion, nevermind the $500 billion it now costs?

2. How can the government increase access to health care for millions without increasing the number of doctors and nurses, especially if the government pays health care providers less as a way of financing this bill?

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3. Why doesn’t the bill address the shortage of certain types of health care providers, like general practitioners?

4. Why not address the portability and access problem by giving individuals the same tax incentive to purchase their own health insurance as employers get to purchase insurance for employees? This would spawn a competitive marketplace of private individual insurance.

5. Why doesn’t the bill address tort reform, which would relieve doctors of the need to both practice defensive medicine and buy expensive malpractice insurance, significant contributors to inflated medical costs? Is it possible the trial lawyers successfully lobbied against that?

6. How can the bill increase choice when it creates an environment of conformity and government power by requiring Americans to purchase health insurance, pay a fine, or risk jail time?

7. How can the government bureaucracy created to determine which drugs and treatments would be approved for use not be politicized?

8. Congressman Barney Frank admits that he supports the public option because it will lead to a single-payer system in which the government is the sole insurer of Americans. Isn’t the “public option” a Trojan horse for a single-payer system?

It’s mind-boggling that politicians think Americans are so gullible as to believe government can subsidize the consumption of medical care without increasing the budget deficit or interfering with free choice. Thankfully, polls and election results are showing that Americans disapprove of both these policies and the politicians who support them.

These same politicians want a massive government take-over of health care, but exempted themselves from its mandates – reminds one of royalty. Prince Sala … Czar, anyone?

Melanie Sturm

Aspen