Rep. Paul Ryan on what real health reform should look like

by Paul Ryan
The Washington Post
3/15/2010

Today, the House Budget Committee is to mark up a “reconciliation” vehicle, initiating the greatest expansion in government and entitlement spending in a generation through a partisan process to push “health-care reform” across the finish line.

Despite claims of transparency and calls for a “simple up-or-down vote,” there is nothing simple about this process. This convoluted legislative charade demonstrates how far the Democratic majority has wandered from real health-care reform and cost control, employing any means to achieve political victory.

Through any analytical lens, the legislation will not address the central problem of skyrocketing health-care costs. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that families’ premiums could rise 10 to 13 percent; private-sector actuarial estimates top these already high numbers. The higher costs are driven by federalizing the regulation of insurance, narrowing consumers’ options and reducing competition among providers. The health-care market would be dominated by government programs and the largest insurance companies, operating as de facto government utilities.

Rather than tackle the drivers of health inflation, the legislation chases the ever-increasing premiums with huge new subsidies. Already, Washington has no idea how to pay for the unfunded promises in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — and creating this new entitlement would accelerate our path to fiscal ruin. When you strip away the double-counting, expose the hidden costs that must be funded and look at the price tag when the legislation is fully implemented, the claims of deficit reduction are as hollow as claims of cost containment.

This legislation includes a range of job-killing tax hikes and controls on all Americans — to fund this new entitlement and to penalize employers and individuals who don’t play by Washington’s new rules.

The Congressman’s article continues at the Washington Post. His plan, “A Roadmap for America’s Future” is here.

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