Democrats talking about health care keep touting the fact that their bill bends the cost curve down. They point to the CBO reports telling the world that their legislation is deficit neutral.
I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it again: Big whoop!!!
First off, the deficit neutrality wasn’t achieved through good policy; it was achieved with accounting gimmicks, massive tax increases and the biggest unfunded mandate to the states in history.
Republicans have fallen for fighting on the Democrats’ battlefield. NO MORE!!! The questions we need to ask Democrats have nothing to do with what they want to talk about because they’re peripheral, not central, questions. Here are the questions that Democrats should be forced to answer:
1. Do health insurance premiums drop with your legislation? If yes, would they drop without a federal subsidy? If they don’t drop, why not?
2. If health insurance premiums drop through a federal subsidy, is that drop sustainable without another tax increase?
3. Why do the Democrats’ bills effectively eliminate HSAs by eliminating paying for them with pre-taxed dollars?
4. Aren’t Democrats essentially saying that they don’t want people becoming health care shoppers by eliminating the tax credit on HSAs and flex spending accounts?
5. Democrats say that they want people to have lots of choices. If that’s true, why are Democrats eliminating one of the most popular choices consumers have?
6. Isn’t the expansion of Medicaid really the biggest unfunded mandate in history?
7. Why aren’t Democrats including that expansion in the cost of the bill? Just because it isn’t a federal expense doesn’t mean that it isn’t costing the American people money.
8. Doesn’t the fact that they’re raising people’s taxes mean that the Democrats’ legislation is wildly expensive? If it isn’t expensive, why do we need tax increases?
9. Why doesn’t the Democrats’ health care legislation include lawsuit abuse reform? Don’t abusive lawsuits drive up defensive medicine costs?
10. Why are Democrats dismissive of the House GOP’s plan? The House GOP plan solves the problem of ensuring people with pre-existing conditions, lowers insurance premiums in general, allows insurance companies to sell their policies across state lines, keeps HSAs intact, and that doesn’t raise taxes to artificially lower health insurance premiums? Oh yeah, there’s another thing worth noting: The House GOP plan doesn’t include any unfunded mandates on the states, unlike the Democrats’ plan.
Republicans, stop fighting on the Democrats’ battlefield. Stop asking the wrong questions. Isn’t it more likely that your constituents care more about whether their insurance premiums are going down than they are with deficit neutrality? Isn’t it more likely that your constituents want lawsuit abuse reform more than they want a bigger tax burden to deal with?
If we play on the Democrats’ battlefield, we’ve lost before we’ve started. It’s time we asked the questions that the American people care MOST about. It’s time we won this fight by letting the Democrats march on their battlefield rather than listening to the American people.
Finally, it’s time that we established a website comparing their red ink legislation with our real life reforms. Perhaps a Rob Neppell, working with Keith Hennessey and Betsy McCaughey, could put such a website together.
If we start showing the dramatic differences between the Democrats’ takeover of the health care industry and the Republicans’ reform legislation, this fight will be over in a New York minute.
Let’s get this together ASAP. We can’t afford to lose this fight.
Cross-posted at California Conservative