OUR VIEW: Still time to kill health care bills


OUR VIEW: Still time to kill health care bills


Date: December 17, 2009
by: The Observer Staff


Americans don’t want the $1 trillion Obama-Pelosi-Reid health care bill.

Not because they don’t want health care reform. But because they don’t want unaffordable, debt-ridden, government-controlled, health care reform.

U.S. taxpayers cannot carry any more national debt. Next year, our gross public debt as a percentage of gross domestic product will reach 100%. In one year, our annual federal deficit rose from an extraordinary $400 billion to an astronomical $1.6 trillion. And that’s even before Congress approved any new health care spending.

Stop Congress from adopting this national disaster.

Speak out, Sarasotans. Don’t let Congress ruin our and our children and grandchildren’s economic futures any more than it already has.

For a simple explanation of why this legislation must be killed, read the text of a recent political cartoon by Michael Ramirez, of Townhall.com. Ramirez drew eight panels with President Obama saying:

“Government can fix health care. Just look at Medicare and Medicaid.

“OK, they’re broke, but look at Social Security.

“OK, it’s broke, but look at the U.S. Post Office.

“OK, it’s broke, but look at Amtrak.

“OK, it’s broke, but look at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“OK, they’re broke, but look at my budget.

“OK, it’s $1.6 trillion in the red, but … ”

Call or write your congressman. Do it today.

• U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson
716 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, D.C., 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274
Fax: 202-228-2183
E-mail: http://billnelson.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm

• U.S. Sen. George Lemieux
356 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C., 20510
Phone: 202-224-3041
Fax: 202-228-5171
E-mail: http://lemieux.senate.gov/public/?p=EmailSenatorLeMieux

• Rep. Vern Buchanan
218 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C., 20515
Phone: 202-225-5015
Fax: 202-226-0828
E-mail: http://buchanan.house.gov/contact.shtml

+ Crist twists the truth
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is now trying to paint his opponent, former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, as someone who favored increasing taxes. Said Crist Monday in Pinellas County:

“Let’s make sure the words meet the facts. I don’t believe in raising taxes. I’m running against someone who wanted to.”

Crist apparently is referring to Rubio’s support of Amendment 5 in 2008 — often referred to then as the Tax Swap Amendment.

Like most shifty, sound-bite politicians, Crist is not telling the whole story. In fact, Rubio strongly supported the Tax Swap Amendment because it would have eliminated Florida’s worst tax — the state-imposed school-property tax. This is Florida’s stealth tax, the one state lawmakers raise every year without taxpayers noticing. Local school boards get blamed. From 2001 to 2007, this tax grew three times faster than the combined growth rates of inflation and student enrollment.
In exchange for eliminating the state’s school-property tax, the Tax Swap Amendment would have required lawmakers to adopt legislation to replace the lost school-tax revenue. One of the choices at the time was to increase the state sales tax 1%, which Rubio backed. And the reason he did was sound.

What Crist will never explain to voters about this amendment — which Crist opposed — is that it would have re-ignited Florida’s economy with a vengeance.

Eliminating the state school tax would have cut $8 billion to $9 billion in school property taxes statewide — putting that money back in consumers’ and businesses’ hands and simultaneously increasing the value and net worth of Florida’s property owners by $80 billion! An instant increase in wealth.

When Florida economist Hank Fishkind analyzed swapping the school tax with, say, a two-cent increase in the sales tax, the results, Fishkind said, would be “very stimulative to investment and employment.”

Don’t let Gov. Crist’s words fool you. For Pete’s sake, he’s a career politician!

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Currently 1 Response

  • 1.
  • Forget the new system, the current Medicare is a mess. As background, let me say that I have been working for 56 years, paid my taxes all that time and the new year will be my first on Medicare, if I even live that long.

    Is there a doubt that I will live? Yes, there is. I am diabetic and I use insulin. The program that supplies the insulin to me will disqualify me when I turn 65 or become eligible for Medicare.

    Once the various costs of Medicare are deducted from my Social Security I will have less than $600 a month left to pay my part of the health costs AND live on, obviously impossible.

    Before this came up I was already $100 short of my budget every month. I thus am a great attendee of Church Suppers and the like.

    What to do now that I will be several hundred short of budget? I have been trying to find out for six months. No one wants to tell you because it is bad news.

    Maybe, maybe, I will get "Extra Help" from Social Security based on my income, but whoever figures out the "Extra Help" overstated my income by $3000 on the first determination and this had to be appealed. No word on that yet at the 11th hour.

    Also, maybe, maybe, the state will pick up some of it as "Medicaid". Good luck on that though, last year my Medicaid share of cost deductible was $1200 *per*month*. I had to pay the first $1200 every month. The insulin doesn't cost *that* much! Might as well, though.

    OK, we are a week away from the Medicare start date and it is all up in the air at this point. In a worse case scenario I won't have the money to buy food AND I won't have the money to pay my share to the health care either. Since Medicare requires the patient to pay before *they* pay anything I will be paying for Medicare and receiving no benefits from it. Isn't that cosy?

    I checked on Food Stamps. The answer on that is a resounding "NO!" The Food Stamp Lady did suggest that I haunt the private food banks. She also said that she has been seeing this problem all the time for 20 years, and that all the lawmakers know about it.

    Do they? Why did their representatives all play dumb when I called them?
  • Pete Theisen
    Sun 27th Dec 2009
    at 3:35pm
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