Tags: armey | healthcare | obama

Dick Armey: Obamacare 'Ruthless' to Patients, Elderly

Tuesday, 06 Oct 2009 06:22 PM

By Jim Meyers

A government-run healthcare system favored by many Democrats would be "ruthless" in its treatment of healthcare recipients, warns former House Majority Leader Dick Armey.

In a wide-ranging exclusive Newsmax interview, the Texas Republican also said Sarah Palin will prove to be a far better proponent of small-government conservatism than John McCain was in 2008.

And Armey agrees with House Minority Leader John Boehner's recent assertion to Newsmax that President Obama's appointment of many so-called "czars" constitutes a "circumvention" of the Constitution.

See Video: Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey discusses the dangers of Obamacare - Click Here Now

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Armey, who entered the House in 1984, was a leading architect of the "Republican Revolution" in the 1990s and the Contract with America. He was a national sponsor of the March on Washington in September, and is chairman of the conservative non-profit organization FreedomWorks.

Armey was instrumental in a lawsuit that successfully challenged a requirement that seniors had to enroll in Medicare or lose their Social Security benefits.

"This is a big victory for me and I think for America, for my partners in the lawsuit," he said in his interview with Newsmax.TV's Ashley Martella and Kathleen Walter.

"Imagine this: They have been enforcing a policy memorandum since 1993 — not a law, not a regulation, just a memorandum — that says, for example, if you're a Christian Scientist and you decide not to enroll in Medicare, you lose your Social Security. What audacity is this?

"It's an issue that needed to be set right, and we've done that, and I'm proud of the courts for seeing our case.

"But it's also a reflection people should look at: If they're that ruthless with our senior citizens, they'll be that ruthless with you and me if they get their hands on all of America's healthcare. They'll be these kinds of secret, hidden bureaucratic implementations that aren't understood or appreciated."

Noting the massive negative response to Obama's healthcare reform plans, Armey agreed that we are seeing a "populist uprising."

He said: "I think it goes back to last April when we had the initial tea party uprisings across the country. It fascinated me to watch the Democrats' response. They said, they'll go away. Then they came back in August. Then they had the march on Washington. [The Democrats are] finally coming to terms with the fact that these are very real concerns expressed by hundreds of thousands of American citizens all over the country.

"It boils down to the simple observation by Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama: We can't get our votes in the legislative body because members of Congress are being responsive to the concerns raised by their constituents."

Martella cited a Health and Human Services Department "gag order" on insurance companies, stopping them from mailing out information to their clients about the proposed $500 billion cut in the Medicare Advantage program.

"Armey's axiom: If you're going to peddle a bum steer, you better keep it under wraps," he responded. "The first thing they want is, no one should know what's in this bill.

"This is their strategic mistake: When Speaker Pelosi allowed the committees to report that bill before the August recess, they gave America a chance to read the bill. This is why it blew up in their faces.

"The fact of the matter is, it's heavy-handed. It is coercive. If you read the bill, it is frightening...

"The country's really concerned. They consider this a big, unnecessary government takeover, an aggressive government takeover."

Regarding the so-called "public option" health insurance plan being pushed by Democrats, Armey said that most Democrats in the House "want government-run healthcare. They think having a public insurance option is a compromise from their most desired position, which is just have the government run it all. "

Walter asked Armey if he is concerned about President Obama's appointment of several dozen "czars" — special advisors or envoys who have relatively few restrictions on their authority and do not have to win Senate confirmation as Cabinet secretaries do.

"It's a circumvention of the system," Armey stated.

"I'd be the first to tell you we have too many Cabinet positions, but every Cabinet position exists in compliance with Constitutionally defined processes.

"With the czars they say, never mind that, we're going to put extra-curricular people in by my whim and fancy, empower them and circumvent the Senate's right to advise and consent.

"We don’t know for sure how much power these guys have. Are these ceremonial sops he's given to his buddies, his cronies, or do they have real authority?

"But it is an administrative structure that is extra-Constitutional, extra-legal, and therefore I think it's a danger to your liberty and mine."

Armey said he believes Republicans are poised to do well in next year's elections because of "public disappointment" in the Obama presidency, but added that "what the Republican don't have now is that great idea that has a massive appeal to the American people.

"I think they can conceivably win the majority, but until they come up with that idea they're not prepared to take over the majority."

Walter noted that a John McCain strategist recently said a Sarah Palin presidential candidacy in 2012 would be disastrous for Republicans.

"You have to understand, McCain strategists feared Sarah Palin the moment she was chosen" because of concerns she might upstage the candidate at the top of the ticket, Armey said.

"Sarah Palin is I think now on her own terms and giving expression to her own voice.

"She's going to demonstrate herself to be a far more shining example of what small government conservatism is and how well it can be understood and expressed than the McCain campaign was able to do."

Turning to the economy, Armey observed that only about a quarter of the money allotted in the stimulus package has been spent, and "it has had virtually no impact. I saw Senator [Evan] Bayh say he thought we were better off than we would have been had there been no stimulus package. I think we're worse off."

Armey declared that the Democrats' intention of allowing tax cuts to expire next year will "create more economic damage. When you have a recession you cut taxes, you don't raise taxes.

"The biggest single problem that beleaguers the American economy is that the government is too big a burden. It's already so big that the economy can't carry it.

"Now if you add more government to that, it's like you've got some poor hiker trying to make it up a hill and you keep putting rocks in his knapsack. You're going to eventually buckle his knees."

See Video: Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey discusses the dangers of Obamacare - Click Here Now

Special: Get Sarah Palin’s New Book – Incredible FREE Offer -- Click Here Now.

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