Congress Votes to Socialize Health Care in United States
Monday, March 22, 2010
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 219-212 on Sunday night to socialize health care in the United States, making the government the paymaster of, and giving it sweeping regulatory authority over, the U.S. health care industry which represents one-sixth of the U.S. economy. The legislation also enacts a dramatic and unprecedented diminution in the individual liberty of citizens. It does so by mandating that all Americans buy a government-approved health care plan while redistributing wealth on a massive scale by promising annual federal insurance subsidies to all Americans who earn less than 400 percent of the poverty level, which is currently $88,200 for a family of four. The new health-care system the legislation will put in place over the next four years amounts to a massive and mandatory new welfare program that will ensnare middle-class and middle-aged Americans in dependency on the federal government for a vital element of their lives.The health care legislation approved by Congress Sunday gives the administration sweeping power to regulate health insurance companies. These regulations will include instructing insurance companies on what benefits they must provide and what rates they can charge. The mandate that all Americans buy health insurance represents a fundamental change in the relationship between individuals and the federal government in the United States. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this is the first time in the history of the country that the federal government has ever ordered American citizens to buy any good or service. Many members of Congress, including former Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah), have argued that this unprecedented mandate is unconstitutional. Hatch told CNSNews.com last fall that if the federal government could constitutionally force individuals to buy health insurance there wasn’t anything the federal government could not force individuals to do.Many congressional advocates of the individual mandate interviewed by CNSNews.com over the past year could not say where the Constitution authorized the federal government to force people to buy health insurance.The final votes that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Obama needed to push the legislation through the House came on Sunday when Rep. Bart Stupak (D.-Mich.) and a small group of other Democrats abandoned their insistence that congressional health care legislation include language that would prevent any federal dollars from going to any health care plan that covers abortion. Instead, Stupak and his allies accepted President Obama’s promise that he would sign a draft Executive Order that simply instructs federal agencies to set accounting rules for how the health care plans that people purchase with federal funds will theoretically “segregate” the federal money they receive from other dollars that would theoretically pay for abortions. President Obama’s draft Executive Order speaks of this “segregation” mechanism as if it were the effective equivalent of the Hyde Amendment. However, the Hyde Amendment prohibits any federal funds funneled through various annual appropriations bills from going to any health plan that covers abortion. The health care bill that Congress passed Sunday and the Executive Order that Obama is promising to sign will allow federal funds to go to health care plans that cover abortion. It will only theoretically “segregate” these fungible funds from other dollars going to the same insurance plans that pay for abortion. Five self-professedly “pro-life” Democratic congressmen joined Stupak at a Sunday press conference to say that they would vote for the health care plan after President Obama promised he would sign this Executive Order dealing with the accounting mechanisms that will be used by abortion-providing, federally subsidized health insurance plans. These congressmen were Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio), Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (Pa.), Rep. Steve Driehaus (Ohio), Rep. Alan Mollohan (W.V.), Rep. Nick Rahal (W.V.) According to the CBO, by 2016, the cheapest family health care plan that Americans will be required to buy under the law will cost $12,000 per year. The average family plan will cost $15,200. A family of four making $88,201 per year—or more than 400 percent of the poverty level—will not receive any federal subsidy to purchase such a plan. They will pay taxes, however, to subsidize the health care purchases of people earning less than 400 percent of poverty. According to the Treasury Department the Medicare system faced about $37 trillion in unfunded liabilities before Sunday’s bill was passed.