Let’s get facts on health care

Published 9:36 pm Monday, August 10, 2009

It’s been a few weeks since Barack Obama released his proposed plan for health care reform, and I have yet to hear anything reliable that actually tells me what’s in the bill.

I don’t have much time to go through more than 2,000 pages of legalese, so I haven’t read the bill. I might wind up having to do so myself, though, to hear the truth about what’s in it. National media sites haven’t been much help, and pretty much everything I can find on the Web, short of the actual bill, is punditry, rather than the truth.

Even the “town hall meetings” (can we please get away from using that term?) across the country are being sabotaged by protesters who have turned the meetings into shouting matches, even using images of swastikas or Adolf Hitler to represent Obama.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the demonstrators “un-American.” How quickly she forgets that “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” is guaranteed in the First Amendment.

Even though the protesters are well within their rights, I regret they’ve turned to shouting to get their point across. A meeting where people can really have their voice heard, and really learn about what is included in the health care reform bill, can’t happen in a disorganized fashion.

What I’ve heard about the health care bill, however, I don’t like. There’s talk of losing the basic freedoms of citizens to choose their own doctors, choose their own plans and have a voice in their own care. There’s talk of higher taxes for lower out-of-pocket costs, which basically means that I’ll be paying for everybody else’s health care.

Let’s get one thing straight, Mr. President: While I would love for everybody to have access to quality health care, it’s not my responsibility to pay for everybody else’s health care.

People who want health care should get a job and pay for it themselves. I already pay for not only my own health care, but also that of everybody already on Medicare and Medicaid. If we put more people on the government health care dole, it will drive my taxes up further, and I still will pay for my own health care.

That means the girl whose tattoo gets infected, the guy who drinks too much and gets cirrhosis of the liver, and the person who eats too much, doesn’t exercise and develops heart problems will be using my money to treat their preventable ailments.

Sorry, but that doesn’t fly. My insurance premiums already are astronomical, and I can’t imagine the cost going down when government gets involved.

I looked for a meeting coming up in the near future in the area, and all I could find was one hosted by Rep. Rob Wittman Aug. 31 at Christopher Newport University’s Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News. Make sure to attend and make your voice heard (no shouting).

To read the full health care bill, visit http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:H.R.3200: