- The Washington Times - Monday, September 14, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I am pleased to see that The Washington Times is publishing more reports about the false and misleading information President Obama is spreading about his health care reform plan. Your recent editorial about health care reform (“Better ways to reform health care,” Opinion, Wednesday) was just what the doctor ordered.

Do not stop there. There is a lengthy list of Mr. Obama’s misrepresentations, clever deceptions and outright lies that need more airing. Consider, for example, his claim that “nothing in [my health care] plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage … you now have.” That, at best, is only half the truth. What he has chosen not to tell the American people - and here is where the deception begins - is that his plan expressly allows employers to opt out of paying for private health insurance by paying a fine of 8 percent of payroll costs. Now, the 8 percent figure was not picked out of a hat. It obviously was chosen because, in a vast number of cases, the 8 percent fine is significantly less than the amount employers must pay for the employees’ private health care insurance. Accordingly, a vast number of employers will be encouraged to stop paying for employee health care insurance, thus forcing millions of employees into the government-run option. By one estimate, 88 million Americans will have no choice but to enter the government-run plan, whether they like it or not.

The government-run health care insurance option is expected, in general, to cost less than private insurance plans to promote “choice and competition.” Behind this gift horse is the goal of eventually driving the private insurance firms out of business, leaving only the government plan. If Mr. Obama were truly interested in promoting competition, all he has to do is to allow Americans to cross state lines to get their health care insurance. This would allow more than 1,300 private insurance companies to compete with one another.

In light of the evidence, it is clear that the current bill, H.R. 3200, is surreptitiously designed to produce a government takeover of health care.

HARRISON E. MCCANDLISH



Alexandria

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