Healthcare Reform Passes

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Following
months of heated public debate and aggressive closed-door negotiations,
Congress finally cast a historic vote on healthcare late Sunday
evening. It was truly a sad weekend on the House floor as we witnessed
further dismantling of the Constitution, disregard of the will of
the people, explosive expansion of the reach of government, unprecedented
corporate favoritism, and the impending end of quality healthcare
as we know it.

Those in favor
of this bill touted their good intentions of ensuring quality healthcare
for all Americans, as if those of us against the bill are against
good medical care. They cite fanciful statistics of deficit reduction,
while simultaneously planning to expand the already struggling medical
welfare programs we currently have.

They somehow
think that healthcare in this country will be improved by swelling
our welfare rolls and cutting reimbursement payments to doctors
who are already losing money. It is estimated that thousands of
doctors will be economically forced out of the profession should
this government fuzzy math actually try to become healthcare reality.
No one has thought to ask what good mandatory health insurance will
be if people can’t find a doctor.

Legislative
hopes and dreams don’t always stand up well against economic
realities.

Frustratingly,
this legislation does not deal at all with the real reasons access
to healthcare is a struggle for so many — the astronomical
costs. If tort reform was seriously discussed, if the massive regulatory
burden on healthcare was reduced and reformed, if the free market
was allowed to function and apply downward pressure on healthcare
costs as it does with everything else, perhaps people wouldn’t
be so beholden to insurance companies in the first place.

If costs were
lowered, more people could simply pay for what they need out of
pocket, as they were able to do before government got so involved.
Instead, in the name of going after greedy insurance companies,
the federal government is going to make people even more beholden
to them by mandating that everyone buy their product!

Hefty fines
are due from anyone found to have committed the heinous crime of
not being a customer of a health insurance company. We will need
to hire some 16,500 new IRS agents to police compliance with all
these new mandates and administer various fines. So in government
terms, this is also a jobs bill. Never mind that this program is
also likely to cost the private sector some 5 million jobs.

Of course,
the most troubling aspect of this bill is that it is so blatantly
unconstitutional and contrary to the ideals of liberty. Nowhere
in the constitution is there anything approaching authority for
the Federal government to do any of this.

The founders
would have been horrified at the idea of government forcing citizens
to become consumers of a particular product from certain government
approved companies. 38 states are said to already be preparing legal
and constitutional challenges to this legislation, and if the courts
stand by their oaths, they will win. Protecting the right to life,
liberty and pursuit of happiness, should be the court’s responsibility.

Citizens have
a responsibility over their own life, but they also have the liberty
to choose how they will live and protect their lives. Healthcare
choices are a part of liberty, another part that is being stripped
away. Government interference in healthcare has already infringed
on choices available to people, but rather than getting out of the
way, it is entrenching itself, and its corporatist cronies, even
more deeply.

See
the Ron Paul File

March
23, 2010

Dr. Ron
Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.

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