We welcome Rep. Marsha Blackburn to these pages. -Patrick
President Obama made a decision very early in the health care debate that doomed the process to failure. He decided to let Congress write the proposed bills, with very little input from the White House. Then he made another decision that just added to the problem. He decided that he wanted health care reform passed before Congress left for the August recess.
These two steps by the Administration have created chaos. First, by relying on liberals in the House of Representatives to define the debate, the President forgot about a very important component in any debate - the American people. Secondly, by trying to ram the bill through, without most members of Congress even having a chance to familiarize themselves with the provisions, let alone read the bill, he miscalculated the energy of the people. Any member of Congress will tell you that it has been many years since they have seen this level of anger and passion on the part of the American people.
We have certainly seen that anger expressed time after time at townhall meetings all across the country. And why wouldn't the people be angry? The American people have already expressed their concern over the mounting federal debt, a debt that their children and grandchildren are going to be left paying for. Then the Obama administration tried to push through a health care bill that would consume 1/6th of our spending, and affect the lives of every single American. It's no wonder that the people have said "enough is enough."
They have sent a strong message to members of Congress - one that we all need to think about. Congress works for the people. Congress should be the voice of the people. Something is drastically wrong when the people are willing to fight with Congress to get their message across. Congress needs to understand that, and they need to start listening.
80% of the American people are satisfied with their health care now. They don't want it changed. People who have Medicare Advantage don't want to lose it. They don't want to see medicare cut. They don't want the government standing between them and their doctors. Congress needs to get the message.
Are there problems with health care in America? Sure. Do we need to figure out a way to lower costs and provide methods for people who truly can't afford health care to have access to health care? Of course. But let's not throw away the entire system in order to fix what is wrong. Instead, let's toss the bills that are on the table in the wastepaper basket. Let's listen to the people. Then let's write legislation that deals with the two issues that need to be addressed, costs, and helping the hard-core uninsured. Most of all, let's keep the legislation simple enough that Congress can understand it.
Cross posted at Congressman Marsha Blackburn
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