• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Feulner: Hurtling Toward a Train Wreck; Common-sense Americans Hit the Brakes

    Heritage President Ed Feulner writes today in the Washington Times: 

    Nobody could have been happier to see August end than the liberals pushing government-run health care. The month, to put it mildly, was not kind to President Obama and his allies. Their worst nightmares were realized — Americans examined the bills being proposed and turned out in great numbers to voice their opposition.

    What we can expect in September is another matter. Desperate times call for desperate means — or so liberals will think. Those who oppose this hostile takeover of one-sixth of our economy must be ready.

    Proponents of Obamacare will not succeed, however, if everyone understands what unfolded last month. Simply put, the American people took matters into their own hands before the politicians could have their way.

    Let’s be very clear about what happened here. Your leaders did not want you to scrutinize the profound changes they were proposing, and the best excuse they offered was that you, the American people, were too stupid to understand it.

    This isn’t mere hyperbole. Politicians pushing for an overhaul of our health care system sat down with people from the Heritage Foundation and actually said, many times, such things as: “We have to pass this before the American people can read it. They will not understand it, and people will tell them bad things about it.”

    But the American people did understand. They realized that the overhaul the left proposes threatens the good quality care that most receive. They sensed, moreover, that their leaders were trying to rush through complex and far-reaching changes that would have unforeseen cultural and economic consequences.

    The health care industry is worth $2.5 trillion a year, comparable with Britain’s entire gross domestic product and larger than that of most European countries. Can you imagine Britain’s entire economy being reordered by a few people working secretly in backrooms in a matter of weeks? What are the chances they could ever get that right?

    But the American people cannot take all the credit for slowing down this train wreck. Some of it should go to White House communicators who came up with arguments that were ludicrous on their face, such as insisting that a public option would introduce “competition” into the health insurance market.

    Thank God we commissioned a Lewin Group study that made it clear that more than 88 million Americans would lose their private insurance if a government competitor were created. These numbers made it abundantly clear that the “government option” would quickly become the only option. And as a Heritage study just showed Friday, Obamacare will cost U.S. businesses up to $49 billion a year and will mean that as many as 5.5 million Americans could lose their job.

    The Congressional Budget Office, with its numbers showing that the plans being proposed wouldn’t lower costs but raise them, drove in another valuable nail.

    So this is where we are, and where we have been. But where are we going? One thing is clear: The president obviously plans to take a more active role in promoting his version of reform. A major address to both houses of Congress is planned for Sept. 9.

    Those tempted to invoke the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s name to pass health care bills should remember that he was not revered in all quarters. Doing so would be a tactical error on their part.

    So would using reconciliation to ram through a bill, as Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York and former Democratic Party leader Howard Dean are advocating. Reconciliation — a legislative process that requires only a 51-vote majority in the 100-seat Senate, rather than the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster — is expressly meant only for budgetary matters. Its use would divide the country further and reduce the U.S. Senate to being no more deliberative than the House of Representatives.

    Nor should the president and his allies try to disguise the same rejected “reform” under a different name. Renaming the public option a “co-op” is disingenuous, for example. It all amounts to the same thing: a single-payer system, which means the only choice Americans would have is a government package.

    We also must anticipate the protests that the president’s supporters expect to mount over the coming weeks. These protests are facilitated by the White House campaign apparatus Organizing for America and the same people who called those who turned out in August “astroturf.”

    Going forward, we do need to fix America’s health system, but in a common-sense way that is in synch with our country’s values. If we are going to redesign it, we will have to do it in stages, learning from our many mistakes. We are going to have to encourage states to take the lead in figuring out how to proceed. Mr. Obama could get broad support in town-hall meetings and across the aisle for this agenda if he is willing to embrace it.

    What he needs to realize after his return from Martha’s Vineyard is that — as he has often said — this isn’t about him, it’s about the country. And the country has rejected what he is proposing. The people have understood. As Ronald Reagan frequently reminded us: Trust the people.

    Edwin J. Feulner is president of the Heritage Foundation.

     

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to Feulner: Hurtling Toward a Train Wreck; Common-sense Americans Hit the Brakes

    1. Marilyn Montgomery says:

      Obama and his thugs do not give a hoot about the american people. We are bad. They are going to change us. They think Van Jones can simply say that was then this is now. Come on do they really think we are that stupid. They want more of our money so we can be even busier trying to eek out our little pittance while they are stealing our wealth and all getting rich.

    2. Bobbie Jay says:

      I won't believe this was ever the crisis it's been indoctrinated to be. In this state there is schip, mncare, and an extra 10% increase on the bill of those that provide for themselves on their doctor and dental care bills. 10% increase is itemized as mncare tax. Plus hidden programs to fit whatever ailment.

      Who knows how much is unfairly charged to the responsible. High costs, taxes through income, and a direct slap in the face to take 10% on top of whatever you do for yourself. As definitions have changed since Obama has been in office, what is the definition of "fair?"

      Am I wrong to understand reform in the insurance business has been between the purchaser (whether being the employer or individual) and the insurance co. with the oversight of government? Why wasn't government doing their job to avoid this government named crisis?

    3. Pingback: » Financial News Update - 09/03/09 NoisyRoom.net: Where liberty dwells, there is my country…

    4. Dexter, San Francisc says:

      Bobbie Jay ::

      You are quite right.

      A fireman makes his living putting out fires; the Fire Chief makes his living playing on the fear of fire and the hiring of firemen.

      Insurance company's silent partner makes sure you would have a terrible time trying to start an insurance company of your own.

      The government has not been doing its job for nearly 100 years, the last 70 busily growing itself, at the expense of everything else.

      But not to worry:

      You can only Owe-bama so much. And we will get change you can believe, in once we clear the hall.

    5. Bob, Portland, OR says:

      I like it, OWE-Bama.

      Anybody seen what Safeway has done to reduce their health care costs? They had all of their employees take a baseline health exam. During the course of the year the employees are asked to improve certain things, like weight, blood pressure etc. If they do, the employee gets a check of up to $1,500.00.

      Safeway's, costs reduced by 40% and they are creating healther employees. Bingo!

      See, the private sector does work Mr. Obama.

      We all still have some work to do.

      America, stay calm, stay informed and organize.

    6. Dr. Jerome D. Harold says:

      Liberals always feel every event of chaos is too

      important to waste. They even know how to cause

      chaos so they'll have something to make worse.

      "The worse ~ the better".

    7. Louis L Cesar F Levy says:

      Nice and wise catch Ed FULNER! It's about America and American are blessed to wake-up.However they need to stay vigilent and even wider awake.

      If Mr.Obama learns from this and with bold sweep surpass his logic and operate a readjustment to the Center-Right, he could solve thousand of contradictions and position the Country and himself in the Right and Straight Path.

      If the dictature of the Proletariat suggested by SILENT Voices still the project, there have to be more mobilisation.

    8. M. Murray, Riverside says:

      When is the D. C. group going to get the message. The American people are not stupid and they will not roll over and play dead for any bozo in the political arena. You can not shove anything at them in a feable attempt to socialize the country and grow the governement. The proud Americans of this country control it but do not often make it known and remind those in political power. From the Congress to the Senate to the White House, get the message or find a new job. By they way, if you can not find a new job, join the rank of the millions of unemployed unable to find work because the stimulus was a farce!

    9. Ross writes, Undisc says:

      Great article!!!

      The majority of Democrats and all of the liberals/socialist fell to understand that historically, Americans, taken as a whole have been an independent and freedom loving people. Anything that smells as an enfringment of those liberties will be soundly rejected when understood. And this one really stinks.

      I think that it was Abraham Lincoln who once wrote, "You can fool most of the people some of the time, you can fool some of the people most of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

    10. okiejim says:

      What the Obmamaites don't understand is that this not about Healthcare reform, but about the Government takeover of our lives. We can all agree that some reform is needed in healthcare, but not at the expense of our freedoms and on the backs of our children and grand children and their children.

      Suggestion for you President Obama: If you want to be agood president, get rid of your advisors, special interest groups and left wing cronies and start being a president of, by, and for the people.

    11. Tom-Colorado says:

      It was Thomas Jefferson, I believe, that said remember "A Country that gives you everything you want is strong enought to take everything you have. Each time the Govt. gives you something they take away more of your money and take over more of your live by taking away your choices, by giving you more rules and instructions on what you must do in order to qualify for these "goodies". What should have been done to pump up the economy, for instance was to just lower taxes and get some of govt off the backs of the people, not take from some and buy a car for others. It's insane! More of Obama idea that the govt knows how you should spend your money–you con't be trusted to make choices.

    12. TJS, Leesburg, FL says:

      Socialism is hard. The State has spent all available money and then some, and now that we're broke, they're trying to steal from Medicare in order to purchase votes from yet another group. The ship of state is now sinking. It is time to cut all levels of government in half, undoing the excesses of the Clinton and Bush2 eras. Time to use private accounts for retirement instead the bankrupt, unsustainable schemes of social security and Medicare. And a constitutional amendment to prevent deficit spending by any/all levels of government. And school vouchers, to keep our children safe from the awful politics and morals of teacher unions.

    13. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      As Harry S. Truman said, "How many times does a man have to hit you in the head with a shovel befor you realize he ain't your friend?"

      Hozro

    14. Pingback: The Absurd Report » Hurtling Toward a Train Wreck; Common-sense Americans Hit the Brakes

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×