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The other side of health care reform

English, Ind.

With all due respect to Lee Cable, his biased article in the April 14 issue of the Clarion News on the new health care reform law does not adequately explain "what just happened." When the bill was signed into the "law of the land," America as we knew it changed. Our liberties were bludgeoned by President Obama and his gang of Democrats under the guise of passing universal health care. Americans who believe this was a too-long-in-coming act of kindness are either deceiving themselves or simply do not understand the implications of this sinister bill.

I was against the health care reform bill before it passed; now that it is the "law of the land," I vehemently oppose it and will do everything in my power to see that it gets overturned. I have researched the health care reform law extensively, and I am aghast at what I have learned. I present to you now not so much my opinion, but actual facts about this tyrannical assault on our freedoms.

An article on investors.com, which can be viewed entirely at http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=528137, contains information taken directly from the law as written, explaining just how ludicrous the required insurance coverage will be: A single man with no children must still buy health insurance that has pediatric coverage; a woman unable to bear children is still required to have a policy covering maternity care; a teetotaler is required to carry substance abuse treatment coverage. Is this the Democrats' idea of eliminating waste in the health care system?

As you probably already know, insurance will be mandated in 2014, and those who refuse to buy insurance will be fined. The fines will be enforced by hiring 16,000 new IRS agents who will ensure we comply. How's that for maintaining a right to privacy?

Those who already have health insurance will see their premiums go up. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., says in an article appearing on April 13 in the Los Angeles Times that the law leaves a "very big loophole" in allowing insurance companies to raise premiums. The article also states that major insurance companies are now "moving to boost premiums," with other companies soon to follow. Millions of Americans are about to get jolted by higher health insurance premiums, so don't get complacent in thinking you have until 2014 for more of your hard-earned money to fly out of your pocket. In 2014, when the mandates take effect, young adults in their 20s and 30s will face an average rate hike of 17 percent in premiums, resulting in additional costs of $300 to $500 yearly. In this economy, young adults, many already burdened with paying back student loans and trying to get their careers established, can scarcely afford any more expenses.

Medicare will see massive cuts in sums approaching half a trillion dollars. This will obviously hurt the elderly, in what they'll have to pay out of pocket, and how much care they'll actually be allowed to have. We were told by the Democrats that "death panels" were nonsense and simply scare tactics, but are they? If our elderly loved ones are deemed too old, too sick to justify spending rationed health dollars on by some bureaucratic advisory committee, who knows nothing about your beloved old mom and dad and cares even less about them, what else can this be dubbed except "death panels"?

The "subsidies" that will help further bankrupt this country are a joke to the paycheck-to-paycheck families who'll be forced to buy health insurance in 2014. The Kaiser Family Found-ation has provided an online calculator at http://healthreform.kff.org/SubsidyCalculator.aspx, so anyone can input their information and get an estimate of how much the mandated premiums will cost. I ran the numbers for myself, and even with the subsidy, my cost is $3,192. Mine is a paycheck-to-paycheck family, and we can't spare an extra $10 or $20 a month, let alone the premium on a health insurance policy! With this new imposed financial burden, countless people will not be able to buy groceries or keep their utilities turned on. Possibly they'll have health care, but there won't be any food on the table.

Also, unnoticed by many and slipped into this monstrosity legislation is the complete takeover of the student loan program by the federal government. Banks like Citigroup and Chase stand to lose billions from this blow. Anyone care to tell me how that move will help our crippled economy and create jobs?

Over 3,500 American companies, including Verizon, Deere & Co. and Caterpillar Inc., which had offered prescription drug coverage to their retired employees, have already lost $14 billion from this mess due to the tax law change, which effectively wipes out the subsidies the government had allowed as incentives for providing the retirees' drug coverage. The tax law change doesn't take effect until 2011, but law requires companies to take the charge in the quarter which the bill is passed, which is now. Between 1.5 and 2 million retirees and their spouses stand to lose drug coverage because many of the companies will no longer be able to afford providing the benefits. How do you think a $14 billion American loss of money will affect the shaky economy?

So, with this horror of a legislation, the government will be taking control of 1/6th of our economy, and Americans will lose many of our cherished freedoms. We've been told we have a right to health care. If this is America, we should also have the right to decline health insurance and make our own choices about our own health care. No one, no matter what piece of legislation is the "law of the land," has the right to dictate to you how you choose to take care of yourself and your family, and the majority of Americans know this.

I was a lifelong Democrat before this corrupt health care reform was passed, and I'm profoundly ashamed of the Democrat party for ignoring the will of the people. This government is still "Of the people" and "By the people." Because of the Democrats' arrogant, and probably unconstitutional actions — so far 14 states, including Indiana, have filed lawsuits against this legislation — I will now be voting Republican.

Fortunately, the worst of this nightmare doesn't fully take effect until 2014, and, fortunately, we have a mid-term election on Nov. 2, 2010, and a presidential election in 2012, so we can — yes, we can — get this act of control and tyranny overturned! We do not have to tolerate the actions of a small group of legislators who claim to have Americans' best interests at heart, when, by their own admission, mouthed by Rep. John Dingle, this legislation is enacted to "control the people."

The Democrats stand to suffer large losses in the House and the Senate this November. The latest Associated Press-GfK poll shows mounting opposition to health care reform since its passage, with Obama's approval rating down to 49 percent, from a high of 67 percent in February 2009, and roughly half of those polled want to fire their Congressional representative. Although the whole legislation is not likely to be repealed until Obama has been booted out of office and sent back home to "organize," he must have financial authorization from Con-gress to implement his plans, and he won't get that if we vote enough of his Democrats out this Novem-ber. If we really vote enough of them out, we could get a two-thirds majority, sufficient to override Obama's veto power. For those of us who understand just what this legislation is and what it really does, remember in November: Vote against every lawmaker responsible for enacting Obamacare. If you're not registered to vote, get registered. Your God-given rights are at stake.

In the meantime, you can fight Obamacare now. It's a long time until November, and there is a lot of work you can do. Call or write your Congressional representatives and tell 'em how mad you are that the American people's viewpoint on health care reform was totally ignored. Write letters to the editor of your local newspapers. Attend or organize political meetings that support the repeal of Obamacare. Research, get your facts straight, so when you talk to people about Obamacare or write about it, you know what you're talking about and are not just giving your opinions. You can sign petitions; here's one online you can start with now: http://repealitpledge.com/, or you can join the GOP movement to fire Nancy Pelosi: http://www.gop.com/firepelosi/.

So, get busy! Together, we can get Obamacare re-pealed, and, whatever you do, do it peacefully and respectfully, but don't do it quietly. Nothing worth doing is done quietly or in secret, and this is America. We're still free. This country was founded on freedom, and you have the right to stand on and for that freedom, thank God!

Linda Shafer
April 21, 2010

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