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  • Morning Bell: It Is Time for Responsible Health Care Reform

    Another day, another round of polls showing the American people do not want Obamacare. National Public Radio found that likely voters disapprove of Obamacare 47%-42% with 39% strongly opposed, compared to 25% strongly in favor. Wall Street Journal and NBC News found that 42% of Americans called Obama care a “bad idea” while only 36% said it was a “good idea.” Finally, the New York Times/CBS News poll found that ”Americans are concerned that revamping the health care system would reduce the quality of their care, increase their out-of-pocket health costs and tax bills, and limit their options in choosing doctors, treatments and tests.”

    In a follow-up interview, Democrat Mary Bevering of Fort Madison, Iowa, told the NYT: “We need to fix health care but if the government creates the system, I’m afraid the quality of care will go down and costs will go up: We will pay more taxes.” Bevering is dead-on. Reforming health care is an immense task that should be taken on gradually through experimentation, not top-down government planning. Heritage VP for domestic policy Stuart Butler writes in today’s Washington Times:

    If the U.S. health care sector were a separate national economy, it would be the sixth largest in the world – bigger that Britain’s entire economy. Imagine five bickering congressional committees trying to redesign the British economy successfully in just a few weeks. No wonder people are getting nervous. … [and] the congressional majority wants to revamp the huge health care economy using the doctrine of central planning. So we have thousands of pages of legislation, with potentially hundreds of thousands of pages of rules and dozens of boards and “czars.” These will regulate prices, reorganize hospitals and doctors, and decide what health care each of us should and should not have.

    Conservatives have a different vision for health care reform that builds off the great American traditions of individualism and federalism:

    Expand coverage by reforming Medicaid: Millions of uninsured Americans are eligible for programs such as Medicaid, yet they don’t sign up. Policymakers should focus on approaches that are patient-centered instead of system-centered. The current Medicaid structure is based on a system that reimburses providers for the services that they supply to beneficiaries. A patient-centered approach would direct Medicaid funds to the patient and reflect the individual needs of that patient.

    Incentivize Americans to make their own health care decisions: Rather than micromanage the health system via central planning, we need to get the system’s basic incentives right. Under the current system, with tax-subsidized, third-party insurance, everyone has the incentive to spend more of someone else’s money. No wonder costs are exploding. Getting incentives right means things like pushing employers to show their employees how much of their compensation comes as health insurance. That would encourage all of us to look harder to see if our insurance is good value for money and to opt for fatter paychecks and less costly fringe benefits.

    Make it easier for Americans to shop for health insurance: But even if Americans were incentivized to make their own insurance decisions, it is still currently very difficult for them to find the right bargains for them under the current system. “Health Insurance Exchange” is the generic name some have given such administrative mechanisms; Utah recently enacted health reform that creates a “portal” for this purpose. This is exactly the kind of state-level experimentation that the federal government should be encouraging.

    The progressive wing of Congress is now threatening to kill health care reform unless their desire for a public plan is  included. Nothing is preventing reform more than this Trojan Horse for government-run health care. We must and can get health reform. But it will never be achieved if Americans are pressured to agree to Big Bang change on a ridiculously short timetable – and based on central planning, rather than on better incentives for American creativity and federalism.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    52 Responses to Morning Bell: It Is Time for Responsible Health Care Reform

    1. jim toledo says:

      Healthcare reform is needed but not in the scope of a complete overhaul. If there isn't any tort reform, then there still will be out of control costs. In addition, if something isn't done to eliminate the waste and fraud in the system, then, not real changes will be made. It's obvious to me that a government ran healthcare industry would be a disaster; just look at Fannie and Freddie.

    2. David, Cape Cod says:

      ObamaCare will become a single-payer system. We already have 3 such programs, MediCare, Medicaid and the VA. Does anyone think these are a model for national health care? Can you imagine the entire population going to Walter Reade-like hospitals and clinics for 'care'? The abuse, fraud and neglect in these programs need to be fixed NOW.

      Challenge your local congressperson to fix what already exists before we embark on a national health care disaster.

    3. Arnie Rosner, Founta says:

      The time has come for public strikes

    4. Joe_Bob, Short Tract says:

      The question is not, "what kind of health care reform". The question is, by what authority is the federal government involved in health care at all?

      Oh wait, I know, by the same authority that they gave my money to Chrysler, forced Chrysler into Bankruptcy, and then gave controlling interest to the unions and told secured creditors to buzz off.

    5. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:







    6. Paul Ross says:

      Please STOP using the term Health Care REFORM. Its a reform when the goal is to replace a working system with a system that has no chance of meeting the current medical needs of the population. Reform a a term of art of the left used to make a take over seem palatable.


    7. M Wells, Russellvill says:

      We do NOT WANT OBAMACARE! We do NOT NEED the GOVERNMENT deciding if we can have an operation that is needed or tell us how to committ suscide because we will cost MONEY! We pay our bills and there are lots of charity orginzations here to take care of people who want medical care. NO NEED FOR GOVERNMENT UNCARE!

      LETS contribute to a oneway ticket for OBAMA & Family & Congress to another country! They need to STOP destroying ours! He acts like a spoiled BRAT, I want, I get or else! STOP! STOP! STOP!

    8. Brian Flaherty, Hone says:

      Health Reform should only be considered if (a) it first addresses TORT Reform and (b)includes all Government employees (Federal, State, Local, Congress,the Senate, President, Unions,et al). It would be interesting to see the results of a National Poll on such stipulations.

    9. Harry, Illinois says:

      What we have here is a "Failure to Communicate." The Obama Administration and current Congress dont care what your feelings are. They have taken the attitude that we are hopeless, helpless and destitute for government takeover of our lives.

      Lets show them all at the next election how helpless we are by voting them all out of office.

      Better hurry up and register before they take that right away from us as well.

      I wonder how Mr. Kennedy and all of those Senior Representatives in Congress would feel if someone told them that they were too old to receive medical care and to just take a chill pill. But unfortunately that won't happen because they won't belong to the plan that they support but haven't read a single paragraph.

    10. Sam, Florida says:

      The democrats in the Government are liers when they say that The Medicare System under the new Health plan will be the same. The 2009 Medicare budget is 420 Bill. under their plan 50 Bill have to be removed from this budget. How in the world a reduced of 25% budget will be the same? Only if the quality of the services will be significantly reduced. All recipients of Medicare shall know that.

    11. Lynne Vela says:


    12. Lee A Kenaga, Dearbo says:

      If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck,

      the overwhelming odds says it is a duck. If the

      health bill being voted on is a universal health

      care program is run by the nincompoops in Wash-

      ington to decide what is covered or not covered

      by the same nincompoops medically, and make med-

      ical decisions better made by the doctor, how is

      different from the Canadian & British version,

      where patients have to wait for months to see a

      doctor or to get an operation. If the Canadian

      plan is so great how come people are flocking to

      see an American doctor or have an operation be-

      cause they are tired of standing in line?

    13. Bob Veigel, Arlingto says:

      It is time for an intelligent, honest, truthful and ethical government to do what is good for Americans and not what is good for pandering politicians casting for votes by offering programs that will bankrupt and destroy America. What is going on in the Washington politcal scene is dishonest and deceptive and will only lead to more misery for all.

    14. Ben C, Ann Arbor says:

      Until there is a fundamental change by Congress back to the concept of personal responsibilty Health Care Reform will fit the model proposed by Obama. Convincing Congress that their model is a bad idea is a waste of time and energy – other than making an effort to delay any vote. If our country fails to vote out of office those in favor of this program we will all be encompassed by solicalized medicine. I have sent letters to my Congressman and Senators telling them that if they vote for it I will never vote for them again and will donate to and campaign for their opposition in the next election. My sense is that this is the only way I can get their attention – even though they have likely placed the letter in the circular file. I live in Michigan and doubt they feel threatened.

    15. Kathleen Collins says:

      Nationalized healthcare H R 3200, provision 1233 on section on "Advanced health care directives"

      Obama said "Everything is going to be up to you, and if you don't want to fill out a living will you don't have to. Nobody is going to be telling you that you've got to fill out one."

      Obama did not mention that this bill makes it a government legal requirement for all citizens age 65 and over to have 'Advanced Healthcare Directives" to be updated every five years, and that "may" be updated more frequently if you go into a nursing home, or hospital. This means the government will use the full force of the law to get those advanced healthcare directives from every senior citizen.

      "Follow the money". It doesn't make any sense to create a costly new bureaucracy whose purpose is to require, monitor, and update Advanced Healthcare Directives on every citizen in the entire country age 65 and over unless he is expecting a huge return on his investment.

      The return on the investment is the monumental cost savings that will result from preemptively denying procedures and operations to citizens age 65+ because they are "too old".

      Check the internet for quotes from the ARCHITECT of this nationalized healthcare bill, Dr. Ezekial Emmanuel, Rohm Emmanuel's brother. They are chilling.

      Follow the money

    16. William J Davis, Rol says:

      My father was a cardiologist, and in his day, of some renown; he and 2 other cardiologists forming the Missouri Heart Association. He had many patients who truly could not pay and, of course, all the doctors in town had such. But they were not turned away; likewise, if needed, the hospital would provide their services at no fee. His comment was, "If the government ever gets involved in medicine, the costs will skyrocket". Now with government so involved in education (thus, becoming a doctor is astronomical)to all the financial and legal obligations that are placed upon a doctor once he begins his practice, is there any place in medicine that the government has not encumbered medicine and made sensible health care impossible?

    17. Joe 6 Pack says:

      Has anyone considered a healthcare insurance system that works like auto insurance? People could have choice to upgrade and downgrade their packs as they see fit? Just a thought?

    18. Karl Froehlich, Arli says:

      Bottom Line:

      1. If the President, Congress, Senate, and Feds

      want to be exempt THE BILL IS NOT FOR AMERICA

      but THEM. Leave our medical system alone and

      make SS, Medicade, Medicare, Medical Medi



      2. Vote against anybody that votes FOR! IMPEACH

      Obama for his decesions and lack of positive


      3. Tort Reform across the board every State

      would save medicare, medicade, medical in


      Help Listen to the Public!

    19. A. Terranova, Ormond says:

      Revamping our nation's health INSURANCE SYSTEM as opposed to the revamping of its health CARE SYSTEM are two completely different things. In any case the federal government OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT ENTITY SHOULD NOT BE INVOLVED in the process. We are talking about the politicalization of "comprehensive health INSURANCE" instead of the revitalization of our PRESENT system.

      Do not be deceived; the federal government is not about helping anyone but their own favored groups. Under any government run system, we will ALL be paying more and receiving less.

    20. A. Terranova, Ormond says:

      Dear Kathleen Collins,

      Thank you for your comments. You are completely and absolutely correct. It is only through the "elimination" of CERTAIN GROUPS of people, that Obama's plan intends to slash costs. Chilling indeed!!!

    21. Dave, Laguna Niguel, says:

      Oh what a perfect world for Obama…a demorat controlled senate and congress, which means he can trample the constitution(he is a lawyer after all), ignore all its precepts, strong arm people who just want a chance to read a bill before voting on it, take over American companies and treading where it is actually against the law to tread, and nobody does a thing to stop his march to make the US a third world communist country. Hey, lets look on the good side. Once Obama takes over all American companies, we will not see any more rich Tigers or Arnies because no one is there to sponsor a golf tournament, in fact the advertising industry will cease to exist. People will not be able to afford a ticket to an NBA game, guess Nicholson will watch the Lakers all by himself, uh, that is those who can play for peanuts cause there's no money to pay players and the same with football. These pros can now do what they do in other countries, play for fun! Only one NATIONAL TEAM so everybody else go home! And I am really looking forward to a society where laziness/sloth/attitude to get whitey/live with momma and don't work cause of racism/ is all rewarded by the idiots who work until thy decide to join the former so we can all stay at home and do nothing because if the government takes it away anyway then why work…welcome to the world Obama is creating…like the tape on Mission Impossible, his world will self destruct in 5 seconds. Socialists/communists/Marxists just don't get it. They are ALL ABOUT CONTROL, THEY ALL SAY DO AS I SAY(not as I do!), they are parasites and will live off of you til you detach them or…use your imagination. In fact, ALL POLITICIANS are parasites and WE are letting them get away with our destruction. Hello America, there are more of us! These crooks already have destroyed 40% of your stock/retirement portfolio, while filling their own pockets with YOUR MONEY, destroyed the job market through LIES about GLOBAL WARMING, now they are going to show you the fast track to the morgue and you ——– sit there and do nothing! YOU DESERVE EXACTLY WHAT YOU GET!!!! You let the PARASITES create a STATE OF FEAR then come up with solutions to take even more money out of your pocket and make you DEPENDENT on the STATE. GOOD LUCK FOLKS.

    22. Tchiock, Utah says:

      There are three mains reasons the price of health care is costly: Insurance industry, Trial lawyers and Medicare (forced government health care. Medicare has been dictating the prices for years and is designed to be ripped off, in turn ripping off consumers/tax payers. Ripped off by the Insurance industry, pricing of all medical costs by Medicare (government) and its regulations. The insurance industry of course has not been allowed to cross state lines and has Congressional restrictions they cleverly work around. The insurance industry has all of the statistics in order to design their programs and offerings to best suit themselves. They will kick you out of the nest when you turn 65 and become your Secondary Provider but still increase your premiums annually.. Rip off the government! They undoubted know more about you and me and our buying habits than Wall-Mart does or more than the government does.

      Why can't working stiffs like Joe Sh-t the rag man get the same health insurance program the Unions get? Why should Postal Workers have better insurance than anybody else? What about railworkers, who get free hearing aids etc. and you can't? What about the health program Congress has? You'll never see it.

      Does anyone believe they will be willing to give up their health insurance programs for a government Universal program?

      I'll be damned! I wouldn't!

      What Congress is going to offer us is going to be the worst of the worst… Don't kid yourselves!

      BHO, Pelosi, Reid, Clinton, any of them, will not give up what they have and trade it for a government (Peasant) health— Single Payer Program! No way! We should not stand for it either. Let's hope the Blue Dogs will kill this atrocity before it kills us!

      The insurance companies and Trial Lawyers (frivolous law suits) should be taken to task.. These are the main problems— forcing Americans into a government run health program? Just look around: Public schools? Holy Crap! Mortgage industry? Holy Crap! Social Security? Holy Crap! Is it Socialism that made this country great? Holy Crap!

      If we don't replace who we have representing us in government soonest, we will be working for the Arabs, Russia and China (Friends NOT!) very soon, if not already, it will be a continuation of Holy Crap on all of us!!!

    23. Ron Derry NH says:

      This is not about health care and they have one the first battle by confusing every one on the true target.

      This is about power, money and who will dictate your life.

      Government sees insurers and the health care industry as one of the last financial rivers left in America to seize; and they will.

      This is about the need for congress to gain a financial stream so it can dictate policy from the pulpit.

      You can wiggle and complain all you want but the simple facts are that congress and the president need to insure their power with money needed to support their agenda that will net the most votes for the next election.

      China isn't too willing to finance the next escapade of democrat boondogary so they need to seize an asset.

      Looks like the health care industry, due to its success, is in for a hostile take over by the Obama administration much like GM and every one else. A forced compliance to the will of the government at the expense of our freedom.

      Doesn't sound too much like we have a choice in this any more as the die has been cast in the other matters and they got little to no resistance by the courts or the people when they took other parts of the private sector.

      What is the legal defense to prevent the government from taking any business for its own political and financial interests??

      Where does it end??

      We used to be governed by laws, not the whims of the hierarchy.

    24. Dave Stottlemyer, La says:

      I don't understand why you and other commentators do not make tort reform one of the major requirements of real health reform. By reducing the number of tests, etc. and lowering the cost of liability insurance along with the size of awards to litigants, health costs could be reduced significantly. I know the trial lawyers lobby would strongly oppose this, but are we going to have real reform or not. This should be part of any Republaican plan in the Congress.

    25. ella quinn n.c. says:

      Ken leave heritage fountation alone, better yet stay off of it if you donot like what they report which is the truth.

    26. Ron Derry NH says:

      I think this is frightening. Our government used to operate from legislators listening to their constituents and crafting bills to preserve American freedom, values and opportunities.

      Now we have a Fascist dictatorship it seems telling use we are getting a national health care system and we get to choose debt to the state "A" or debt to the state "B" but no where in the bill is freedom, liberty, self destiny, independence, or representation of the will of the people.

      All we are getting is who is serving Obama today and who is in his way.

      This is no longer a Republic based on a Constitution but a government bent on getting the financing to push through its own self serving interests.

      Fascism has a certain look to it and we are bearing witness to it and how the Democrats have embraced it.

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    28. Roger S., Ma. says:

      The only way health care can really be reformed is to get the federal government out of it completely. There isn't a thing they have ever done better than the private sector, not even providing charity to the truly needy. Why would HR3200 become the first and only exception?

      To begin, health care is intensely personal and individualized. It is also very local. Add that the best and quickest adjustments between supply and demand always occurr in the smaller markets. This is true of costs, prices, and performance standards.

      If the government wants to be involved at all, it must begin by accepting its actual mandate, which is to serve the people, not rule them. In this context, that would mean setting some simple and enforceable rules regarding minimum performance and transparency, then being rigorous about their enforcement. And even that is better done at the level of individual states. Why isn't that done?

      The real problem, as I see it, is that the federal government is trying to provide entitlement, which is basically an injustice to those who must provide its means, be they payers or providers. To be able to make such a basic injustice "acceptable", however, it must cloak it with a cover of respectability. This means it must go out of its way to make everyting seem perfectly fair, an idea that quickly reaches its limits in a system of this size and complexity. To add insult to injury, "fairness" in this context means not equal treatment but equal results, restoration of health however defined, which most definitely cannot be guaranteed by any system of any size whose subjects and objects are the diverse human beings we know.

      In a nutshell, that's how I see it. That's why I believe the government must get out of this field entirely. It is impossible to improve a basically immoral system by making it even more immoral. By the way, I believe that's why HR3200 grew to be 1018 pages of "bumpf" with some of the crazy and ultimately unethical and immoral requirements we've been informed about on these pages by the HF.

    29. earl johnson Fresno, says:

      Has any one seen the film clip of Obama trying to shake hands with the Russians on his last visit there? My cousin sent me a little clip from the UK a fiend of his sent him showing Obama trying to shake hands with some Russians and they refuse his hand and go right to the guy next to Obama. Why has that not been on the Fox News?

    30. Nelia, AZ says:

      There is a cancer in congress. Like all cancers it will continue to grow, as those infected keep on increasing government until it has swallowed up every freedom guaranteed by our forebears. The afflicted left the real world behind so long ago, they no longer recognise they are ill with a disease that blinds and hardens them to the plight of those they swore to serve. If allowed to fester, this cancer, like all cancers, will eventually kill the USA.

      Do we initiate term limits at the state level?

    31. mac tx says:




      GOD BLESS.

    32. Judith of The Great says:

      Tort reform, Catch-22?

      Trial lawyers lobby succeeds in disallowing tort reform in health care reform bill.

      Now, the government dictates what a doctor can and cannot due for a patient. Patient suffers due to lack of tests, medicines, surgeries, etc.

      Great for trial lawyers, gearing up to reap kazillions in lawsuits, right? But, wait. You cannot sue the federal government who prohibited the treatments.

      What to do!!!

      How about suing all in congress who voted for this exemplery piece of legislation? Or how about suing the patients who didn't follow the "stay-healthy" guidelines? Doesn't make sense? Nothing else does either, so what the heck. The lawyers have to get something for all of their hard lobbying work and money donations to politicians.

      Wait, perhaps Justice Sotomayor might make a policy that would make it legal to sue the government.

      Best idea yet!

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    34. Robert Reilly Virg says:

      I really appreciate the Heritage Foundation for their approach to solve this festering healthcare problem. Unfortunately, the democrats have the bully pulpit and the media proclaiming government solutions are what is needed. The ground swell of conservatism is rising thru such web sites as Heritage, Newsmax and a host of others but again, there is no republican leader visible or strong enough to get this message out to the masses. It appears to most Americans that the republicans are just against whatever Obama is pushing rather than coming out with their own alternative solutions. Should the conservatives beat back the Obama proposed healthcare program , and be successful in getting some form of healthcare reform without a government insurance program, Obama and the democrats will still get the credit for reforming healthcare. Without the internet, America has absolutely no hope of avoiding the socialist agenda that Obama and the democrats have us on.

      Republican leaders, whoever the heck they are, are missing a great opportunity. If they were to publicize their inititive to cover the poor and those with pre-existing conditions thru private insurance co-ops, drive down the cost of Medicare thru increased user premiums and tort reform, the American people just might get an idea of how conservatism works.

    35. J. White, south Jers says:

      Do I hear echoes of the Red Brigade marching in the Kremlin Square? Do I hear the Brown shirts in Muenich? WE do not have a king or a dictator, despite the obvious ambitions of this Empty Suit who fancies himself so superior to the American people along with those of a similar mind. The Northeastern USA must have something bad in the water to elicit this kind of mental condition.

      This IS what one hears whenever the narcissistic Empty Suit "speaks" [dictates????]. One has to remember that "charisma" is another polite word for verbal fertilizer aka BS. Whenever I meet someone who is so "charismatic" I immediately know that they are on a campaign to dazzle people with their "brilliance" or baffle them with their verbal fertilizer.

      This is exactly what the Empty Suit IS and anything he has shoveled on the USA are from the same source point.

      The only thing wrong with the healthcare insurance industry is their greed and unwillingness to insure anyone. But, they make it almost impossible for some to pay the premiums…BUT, their premiums reflect the effects of the trial lawyers; AND, that they are the Empty Suit's biggest supporters.

      The insurance lobby has to be eliminated as well as that of the trial lawyers…and the states absolutely MUST regulate the insurance industry into the realities of life; which is NOT just for the sole purpose of trying to catch the last nickel running down the gutter.

      Giving this so-called "bill" anything other than a huge rejection and cancellation is just going to be another bigger bill that the rest of us who did not vote for this fraud will be forced to pay.

      Translation: Communism/socialism = exactly what the insidious fools on the Left want to do. Because? Why it is simple- THEY "think" that when all is said and done- THEY'll be in charge with unlimited powers…they need to read the history of Russia's Stalin and of this nation more carefully and NOT the latest tripe that the liberals use to try and indoctrinate our children with. The fuse is lit.

      Except for the military, I have never seen in my years or in the history of this nation ANY government agency that had even the fainest idea of what it was doing. Monumental stupidity will be compounded with monumental arrogance and inefficiency which translate to anything the government//CONGRESS// has ever done.

      "Good luck" in your quest for health care if this ever makes it through the waste treatment facility/system known as Congress.

    36. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:


    37. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:


    38. Carolyn, Illinois says:

      I just heard on TV that Senator Dodd has prostate cancer. Bet he wouldn't like to be enrolled in the Obamacare health plan he is promoting. Also, isn't he a little 'old' for treatment?

    39. Matt. Pacifico says:

      Just one quick comment. Haven't read all the other comments but I disagree with any kind of government involvement in Health Care.

      My comment is this. The title of the article uses a word that can't really apply to probably 75% of the politicians in Washington.

      Responsible – they haven't proven yet they are responsible for anything. Only when the fear or not getting re elected do they vote like the people that voted for want. Fear is an awsome thing. Can't wait til 2010 to see if other voters vote and don't stay home.

    40. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      The only role the Federal government is allowed to play in Health Care is to limit the amount of tort claims.


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    43. Jo Lubbock, Texas says:

      J White,south Jersey,Kathleen Collins, Dave, Laguna, Ca. & JOE_Bob Tract, NY. I agree with you folks. I cannot say better words than the four of you have said. JW, I will add to your comments, tho. Where in the Constitution is there mention of a Czar? That would come under the Title: NULL & VOID. Empty suit, no, empty pants sounds more like it to me. I believe the four above mentioned persons, have said what most AMERICANS think. GOD BLESS US IN THIS ENDEAVOR.

    44. Linda Colgan, Mount says:

      The only question that I need answered is this: "Will Congress and the President put themselves and their families on the public option plan (and no other plan)–just the one that they are giving us?" The answer to that question tells us everything we need to know about the quality of the plan. So far they have refused to do this, voting it down in both the House and the Senate.

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    51. Darlene, Indiana says:

      I believe this is/will be another form of “WELFARE”!!!!!!

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