Rep. Shadegg: Obama Misleads on Healthcare

Wednesday, 29 Jul 2009 03:01 PM

By Ronald Kessler

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President Barack Obama has been making misleading claims about his healthcare proposals, Rep. John Shadegg, an Arizona Republican, tells Newsmax.

Shadegg, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, notes that Obama said in his speech on healthcare reform that the legislation he and congressional Democrats propose “will keep government out of healthcare decisions,” and Americans will have “the option to keep your insurance if you’re happy with it.”

In fact, Shadegg says the House bill “inserts the federal government and federal bureaucrats in virtually every healthcare decision in America. And, under the clear terms of the bill, you will not be able to keep your current plan, whether you like it or not.”

Shadegg sees the House bill as a “massive takeover of every aspect of healthcare.” The legislation “empowers bureaucrats to make virtually every decision,” he says. “It creates a new healthcare advisory commission, a new healthcare benefits board. It creates a new commissioner who would have powers just short of the powers of the president.

It dictates what must be contained in every policy in America, down to what they must cover, what appeals process it must have, all the way down to how insurance firms must advertise in a manner acceptable to the federal government. It is a massive federal government takeover where bureaucrats and the government will be involved in every healthcare decision.”

As for Obama’s claim that Americans can keep their present insurance if they wish, given the requirement imposed on private plans by the House bill, “That simply again is flat false,” Shadegg says. “The House bill sets forth all these standards that every plan in America must meet within five years,” he says. “It sets forth the minimum essential benefits; it sets forth the coverage standards; it sets forth what things must be covered. But it also says this new board not yet created shall prescribe even more of the requirements that the plan must meet.

“No plan currently in existence in America could possibly already meet all of those standards. Therefore, after five years, no plan that exists today will continue to exist. And as a result of that, the notion that if you have a plan you like you can keep it, is simply wrong.”

Shadegg says it’s clear that Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi aim to nationalize healthcare in America in order to make Americans more dependent on the government and therefore on Democrats, who espouse more government control and handouts.

“I think their proposal is designed to centralize power here, create government control, and create dependency by the populace on government-provided healthcare,” Shadegg says. “They contend they can do that and cover all Americans while bringing down costs.

"It’s pretty obvious that they can’t, and thank goodness the congressional budget office has been pretty candid and straightforward in saying no.

“This is not going to bring down costs, it’s going to increase the cost burden on the United States federal government and on all providers.”

Republicans agree that “no American should be forced into bankruptcy as a result of a health condition,” Shadegg says. “It’s important to understand that this nation pretty much has already made a decision that we don’t want anybody doing without healthcare. No one in your reading audience got to work this morning driving past somebody with a broken leg dragging it down the street because they couldn’t get it cared for.”

In fact, Shadegg says, it was Republicans and President George Bush who four years ago enacted a bill that encouraged states to form pools for high-risk patients, so they would not be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

While Republicans support healthcare reform, “We don’t believe in throwing out the good with the bad,” Shadegg says. “There are lots of good things in the American healthcare system. It clearly produces excellence.

“Indeed, cancer survival rates are better in the United States than in Canada, Europe, or England. They’re dramatically better for prostate cancer, they’re dramatically better for breast cancer, than in any of those countries. So why would we want to go to that kind of a system?”

Instead of government control, “Republicans favor a patient-choice-driven system that empowers individuals, enables them to control their own healthcare, and would let every American pick a plan of their choosing, whether they choose their employer’s plan or they choose some other plan,” Shadegg says.

He adds, “We want to give more pooling mechanisms so they have more places to choose from and give individual Americans control of their healthcare coverage, as they’re in control of their auto insurance or their homeowner’s insurance or their renter’s insurance or their life insurance.”

Behind the Democrats’ approach is the fact that “the left does not trust people to take care of their own lives,” Shadegg says. “The left simply doesn’t believe that people know how to make good decisions for themselves, and so they want to create care for people that is run by the smart people — federal bureaucrats.

"The reality is, the best healthcare system in the world is a healthcare system where your doctor and you are empowered to make appropriate decisions for yourself with knowledge, but unfettered by some government bureaucrat saying this is the right treatment for you, and oh by the way, you can’t have this treatment, this treatment, or this treatment.”

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via
e-mail. Go here now.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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