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Istook: Obamacare Will Ruin U.S. Medical Industry

By Jim Meyers   |   Thursday, 23 Jul 2009 02:34 PM

Former U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook tells Newsmax that the "righteous indignation" of the American people can stop President Barack Obama and the Democrats from pushing through their healthcare reform plan.

The Oklahoma Republican also said the plan would cost taxpayers more than a trillion dollars and lead to the "ruination" of the private health insurance industry.

Istook, who was first elected to the House in 1992, served until 2007 and was a member of the Appropriations Committee. He is now a Distinguished Fellow at the prestigious Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., and a talk radio host.

The healthcare reform plan that Istook opposes would create a government-run insurance program. Newsmax.TV's Ashley Martella asked if the reform plan would allow people to keep their current private insurance plans.

See Video: Former Rep. Ernest Istook discusses how Obama’s healthcare plan could lead to the “ruination” of U.S. medicine - Click Here Now

The healthcare bill contains "restrictions on private insurance coverage, which is part of a plan that will shift probably 88 million Americans out of their private insurance plans and into this government-run plan," Istook responded.

"It will raise the cost of private insurance, and frankly it will make a lot of people dependent upon government who are satisfied with their coverage right now.

"When you take 48 percent of the people who have private insurance coverage and push them into a government plan, they're not going to be happy about that — and they shouldn't be."

Martella asked Istook about a recent a column he wrote pointing out that the liberal Democratic leadership in the House is so afraid of defections from the blue dog Democrats that they're running TV ads in 15 media markets.

"Can you imagine in any other circumstance if party leaders and party bosses were trying to tell the elected officials of their party, this is the way you're supposed to vote, and we're going to try to put public pressure on you to toe the party line and vote that way?" Istook said.

"Imagine the outrage if Republicans did something like that. Yet the Democratic National Committee is running ads in eight states telling people to call their senators to support the plan. They're running it in 15 areas trying to go after more moderate or conservative Democrats, plus they're running it on national cable TV.

"This is pressure on people to toe the party line coming from the party bosses, and of course it starts at the top. It comes from the White House, from President Obama."

Martella asked if blue dogs Democrats will be able to withstand the pressure from party leaders and vote against the plan, or will they cave in on healthcare in the end.

"So far the blue dogs have not really taken a stand on any issue," Istook observed.

"They've gone along with the leadership on lesser issues. Now they've got the really big one in front of them — the federal takeover of healthcare, the trillion dollar-plus cost, the ruination of private health insurance . . .

"But the blue dogs have not yet taken a principled, united stand on anything, so we're waiting to see. We don't know what they're going to do. That's why it's important that people contact their member of Congress and their senators right away."

Democrats last week beat back a Republican attempt to exclude the estimated 13 million illegal aliens in the country from getting free healthcare under the reform plan, Martella noted.

"This is part of the outrage that the American people should be feeling on this," Istook said. "The cost of public health insurance for 13 million people is enormous.

"We're going to create more incentives for people to come to America illegally and to stay here illegally."

Istook said it will take the "righteous indignation" of millions of Americans "if we're to stop something horrible from happening to the economy and to the future of our kids.

"This price tag is so enormous on this. I've got 1l grandchildren. I don’t want them saddled with that kind of debt."

He added: "If you spent a dollar a second, it would take you 32,000 years to spend a trillion dollars."

See Video: Former Rep. Ernest Istook discusses how Obama’s healthcare plan could lead to the “ruination” of U.S. medicine - Click Here Now

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