Rep. Cooper cast the wrong vote
As a voter in the 5th District of Tennessee, I would like to point out the obvious flaws in [Rep. Jim] Cooper’s progressive reasoning for health care reform. I will also offer a creative solution for the State of Tennessee regarding health care that could save the state millions of dollars. Remember, the goal with health care reform was to provide everyone coverage and reduce medical costs across the board. You can review Congressman Cooper’s statement on his website.
Never before has the federal government required its’ citizens to purchase a product from another private citizen or face criminal penalty under the law. It’s time we as voters put a stop to this progressive march and demand fiscally sound solutions that benefit us all. Helping those in need should never be a disguise for losing our liberty.
Cooper says all the major hospitals in the Nashville area — Vanderbilt, Summit, Centennial, etc. — all support the bill. Of course they would, because these institutions are taking the brunt of unpaid medical claims. Cooper says the American Medical Association supports the bill, but the AMA represents less than 30 percent of doctors across America. Not exactly a majority.
He claims that three major Catholic groups support this legislation. Well, I attend Catholic Church and I can tell you that any bill mandating federal funding for abortion would not be supported. Maybe these groups were duped just like Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) thinking that an Executive Order from President Obama would eliminate that language. I wonder if they know that all Executive Orders expire when the President that wrote them leaves office?
As for the AARP, it has been completely on board with the current administration from the beginning. I’m sure if you’re a member of AARP, you won’t like the fact that this Healthcare Reform Act takes $500 million from Medicare.
Cooper claims “tens of millions of Americans will benefit immediately from reform of these insurance markets.” This would be tough to pull off since none of the coverage changes take affect for another three years, after the next Presidential election.
He claims this is not a government take over of the industry. The language of the bill requires you in three years, to report on your tax return that you have the “government approved” health care policy or face criminal penalty under the law. Companies must also offer the “government approved” policy or face fines as well. Insurance companies must completely change what they are responsible for paying or face penalties from the government. That pretty much sounds taken over to me.
The most outrageous statement from Mr. Cooper is: “The bill is paid for.” Not one Republican vote was necessary to pass this bill. Cooper’s own Democrat party had to bribe its own members with 100’s of millions in taxpayer money that we now owe them in order to get enough votes for passage.
Another reason for the three-year delay? Massive new taxes are now being levied upon us to build up the revenue just to start paying for this bill. Does this sound deficit-neutral to you?
My favorite part of the letter is when Cooper states, “This legislation does not do enough to contain medical inflation, but makes a good start because it contains the largest proposed savings in health care costs in history, over $600 billion over 10 years.” First, if it doesn’t do enough to cover the cost, that is code for we will be raising more taxes to sustain this bill. Secondly, the word proposed means they will try. Remember the promise of Social Security, and later Medicare, was to simply collect the money up front and give it back to you later in life when you need it. Both parties robbed it blind. So are we to trust them in collecting billions up front again?
The constituents of Tennessee’s 5th District are going to have to accept the fact that the 'Blue Dog' Jim Cooper is gone, and the Progressive Jim Cooper has taken its place. Saying the right things about the economy and health care while being here in Nashville and voting the opposite in Washington is not what the voters deserve. Jim Cooper supports the failed Stimulus Plan, Cap and Trade (which is trillions in new taxes), and now a progressive health care plan, which just opened the door to socialized medicine. Remember, you must purchase the government-approved plan or face penalty under the law.
President Obama said in a speech to the Service Employees International Union that he wanted a single-payer system, even if it took 10 years to do it. Remember the demands last summer for Town Hall meetings from Jim Cooper? He wouldn’t have one. I even had my own Town Hall meeting on Sept. 1 at the Mt. Juliet Community Center, but he was too busy. He didn’t make time for his constituents but he found the time to meet with groups such as Organizing for America and Change That Works during the same summer. Both progressive groups report back to, you guessed it, the SEIU.
With Mr. Cooper’s support for groups like the SEIU, the Center for American Progress, and voting in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, it is time for a new way of thinking and new solutions.
Government should be developing contracts with private insurance companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and many others to negotiate private policies the government could subsidize. For example, as of March 2006, there were about 1.2 million people on TennCare with a total cost of $8 billion, or $6,667 per person. Any self-employed businessperson can tell you they would have to pay around $3,500 for a policy on their own. Why not scrap Tenn Care as we know it and get the same individuals covered by private plans? Yes, I mean all of them. Even if their policies cost $4,500 it would reduce the total program cost by $2.6 billion or 32.5 percent.
Additional benefits would be that hospitals, doctors and clinics would be paid at higher rates, therefore actually lowering costs to the rest of us. Also, people on TennCare would have better medical care access as the number of facilities not accepting TennCare would decrease dramatically.
Lastly, insurance companies have a better infrastructure in place to identify fraud and abuse. With courageous State Representatives like Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) fighting President Obama’s forced health care through 10th Amendment rights, we could also implement the strategy of privatizing TennCare to show America that you can take care of the people, not bankrupt your state budget, and not threaten the Liberty of those who do not need government assistance.
The bottom line is we must have representatives in Congress that stay true to their principles. Jim Cooper has a well-written book, available through Thomas Nelson Publishers, about fiscal budgeting and deficit eduction but he votes for bailouts and Cap and Trade. He talks about insurance co-ops, fiscal Medicare restraint, and private market competition but then votes for health care reform so expensive your grandchildren will be paying for it.
Does this sound like the America you want to tell your grandchildren about? You’ve heard the saying “A wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Well, Mr. Cooper has become, “A Progressive in a Blue Dog’s clothing.” There is a better way forward. As the great Margaret Thatcher once said, “The problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money.” It’s time to make a change this November.
Mark Charest, Mt. Juliet