As a conservative Republican, a frequent contributor to Republican political campaigns, and one who is very worried about the future the Republican Party, I would like to comment on Randy Pullen’s letter (posted March 26 on the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry website).
I no longer contribute to the Republican National Committee, but only to individual candidates. It is appalling that the Republican Party often appears to have no principles and is totally ineffective against fighting the ideological agenda of the progressive wing that has totally taken over the Democratic Party.
ObamaCare, if implemented, means at a minimum, severe damage to the American economy, the health insurance industry, and worst of all, the patient-physician relationship. Republicans need to fight, not capitulate or surrender. ObamaCare is a bad, destructive law, and it is “here to stay” only if the states go along with it.
A key feature in its survival is the effort to dump a lot of people into Medicaid: hence Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposed expansion of AHCCCS under ObamaCare. That move would mean turning as many as 300,000 vulnerable Arizonans over to a system in which access to physicians is increasingly problematic, and in which the death rate of people who actually use medical care is higher than even among uninsured patients, and much higher than in privately insured patients…
I find the first sentence in Mr. Pullen’s letter, namely the assertion that the American health care system is the best in the world, to be getting very tiresome at this point. Even if true, it certainly won’t be for much longer if we keep loading more unfunded mandates on it. We ought to be looking at Singapore and destinations for medical tourism for comparison, rather than letting the Left dominate the argument with untrue assertions about Canada, England, and European nations whose health systems are rapidly becoming even shabbier.
Pullen says that “it is becoming clear that a majority of Americans are viewing health care as a right and not a privilege.” That the majority of Americans may be dependent on a handout from the government and considers it a right is a disaster, not something that we should be simply accepting. Moreover, the fact that a majority believes something doesn’t make it true.
Furthermore, Republicans ought to be quick to point out that ObamaCare is turning medical care into a privilege that you can have only at the discretion of the secretary of Health and Human Services. What we need to be fighting for is the right to spend our own money to buy lifesaving medical care, a right that is increasingly imperiled. People do not have the right to force other people to buy medical care for them or to force unborn generations to pay for their medical care. It is simply immoral, and people like you should be pointing it out…
Pullen urges Republicans to make a smart choice in following the lead of the governor. But we need to find out whose lead the governor is following. Let’s follow the money. Someone has a lot of money for a public relations campaign and has eyes on the $2 billion a year in federal money that would come to the state.
If the Medicaid expansion is enacted in Arizona, where is that money going to go? It’s going into the bottom lines of hospital corporations. Based on past experience, less than 25 percent will trickle down to pay for hospital costs, and perhaps 20 percent to physicians and others who actually do the work of providing care. Take a very close look at where the rest of the money is going. And take a look at where the money will come from. Every dollar that goes into this is taken away from some other enterprise, along with a considerable dead weight loss from taxation.
It’s time to recognize that AHCCCS and the hospital lobby are special interest groups, and they should not be dictating policy to the governor or to the Legislature . . . Republican legislators owe it to their constituents to do their own careful analysis of both the short-term and long-term implications of the various actions that they take. Capitulating to the federal government may appear to be the easy path at the moment, but there may be no way back — ever.
— Jane M. Orient is a commentator on health care reform and president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, founded in 1943 to fight socialized medicine