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CrossInternational.org and the Orphans of Africa

Thursday, June 25, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I am helping CrossInternational.org with its orphans project in Mozambique on today’s program.

You can make a donation online.

Or you can call 1-888-488-2008.

Today’s New York Times carries a story with this stunning fact:

Africa is full of at least 50 million orphans, the legacy of AIDS and other diseases, war and high rates of death in pregnancy and childbirth.

Obviously the enormous problem of orphans across the continent is immense, but you can help one child find a family with a donation of just $68.

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Calling All Doctors

Thursday, June 25, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

As Karl Rove notes in this morning’s Wall Street Journal, “[b]y a 60%-to-31% margin, Americans prefer getting their health coverage through private insurance rather than the federal government.”

The president is selling his deeply flawed plan hard and via dishonest means (see below) for a reason –Americans with health insurance don’t want to lose what they have and be dumped by their employers into President Obama’s vast new government bureaucracy.

IF the public understands what the president is pushing, they will rebel and swamp Congress with demands that it be stopped.

BUT MSM is doing its best to clear a trail for the new president they adore, and conservative talkers and new media can only do so much to sound the alarm.

The key to defeating the government takeover of health care is for health care providers to consciously adopt the practice of informing their patients that their future care is being debated in July and August on the Hill, and that Democrats are pushing a takeover plan that will force millions of Americans out of their current health care insurance and into a government plan, a government plan that will almost certainly be far less satisfactory to those covered by private insurance today.

Doctors, if you have begun to educate your patients about this looming threat to their well-being, please drop me a note at hugh@hughhewitt.com.

What do you tell your patients to do? Print copies of the paragraphs below and put it next to your sign-in sheet:

DEAR PATIENTS:

As you may know, Congress is currently debating whether the government ought to set up a massive new government agency to sell federal government health insurance company.

If this proposal passes –it is called the “government option” or the “public plan”– many of you who currently get your medical insurance through your employer will find that your employer will quickly switch health insurance providers and place you with the government option/public plan.

As your doctor, I fear that a government option/public plan will greatly reduce the scope of services you can obtain without prior government approval, and that the government will greatly reduce what doctors and hospitals receive in payment for their services. These changes will lead many doctors to refuse to treat patients covered by the government option/public plan. Others will greatly reduce the time they spend with patients covered by the government option/public plan.

As your doctor, I urge you to pay close attention to this debate and to make your opinion known to Congress. Call your congressman or senators via the Congressional switchboard at 202-225-3121 and let them know you oppose the government takeover of health care. If a staffer tells you that the public plan isn’t a takeover, tell them politely but forcefully that the government option/public plan most certainly is a government takeover and that you are opposed to it.

There are many problems with the health insurance industry in America, but turning medicine into a government-run program is not the solution.

There He Goes Again

Thursday, June 25, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

President Obama refuses to come clean on his “government option/public plan” and the devastation it would visit on health insurance in the U.S. The subject came up on ABC’s infomercial for the president’s push for radical restructuring of American medicine last night:

On the “Nightline” edition of the health care forum, Gibson read the president a letter from Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee expressing concern about the creation of a government-run health care plan.

“At a time when major government programs like Medicare and Medicaid are already on a path to fiscal insolvency, creating a brand new government program will not only worsen our long-term financial outlook but also negatively impact American families who enjoy the private coverage of their choice,” the senators wrote.

“The end result would be a federal government takeover of our health care system, taking decisions out of the hands of doctors and patients and placing them in the hands of a Washington bureaucracy.”

“They’re wrong,” the president said, arguing that in a Health Insurance Exchange, the public plan would be “one option among multiple options.”

The concern, Gibson articulated, is that such a plan wouldn’t be offered on a level playing field.

The president rebuffed that, arguing that “we can set up a public option where they’re collecting premiums just like any private insurer and doctors can collect rates,” but because the public plan will have lower administrative costs “we can keep them [private insurance companies] honest.”

Obama said he didn’t understand those advocates of the free market who constantly say the private sector can do things better and are yet worried about this plan.

“If that’s the case, no one will choose the public option,” the president said. He also suggested, however, that the private sector might not necessarily be better, point out that users of Medicare and Veterans Administration hospitals constantly rate “pretty high satisfaction.”

The fundamental dishonesty here is that the president refuses to acknowledge that the government option/public plan will be subsidized by the federal government in a number of ways and thus will be cheaper for employers to chose for their employees, and they will chose it, sending tens of millions of Americans now covered by private insurers into the public plan, dramatically driving up federal costs while crippling the private sector insurance industry. Once dumped into the plan, the employees will wonder what happened to the president’s promise –often repeated– that “if you like your plan you can keep it.”

This is the central dishonesty of the entire scheme: Democrats want to push through a giant bait-and-switch that will act as a giant magnet for employers. The quality of the care will be vastly inferior to that provided by the health care system of today, and as costs skyrocket, the control of those outlays will be imposed via rationing of services and the imposition of waiting lists.

If the plan was defensible, the president would defend it openly and at length rather than with absurd deflections like the phrase “keeping the private sector honest.”

Tens of millions of Americans will be stripped of the health insurance they currently have and with it many of their doctors if the Obama plan becomes law. They will be forced into a health care system that doesn’t exist and when it is built will be run by federal bureaucrats. That’s the truth of what is being pushed, and every congressman and senator who votes for this scheme should be tossed out of office in 17 months.

If you have not already done so, please sign the petition to block this government takeover of health care.

Then contact information for so-called moderate Democrats in the House is here.

Contact information for for Democratic senators who might have the backbone to stand up against this massive fraud on the public is at the bottom of this post.

Iran Updates

Thursday, June 25, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The New York Times’ Lede Blog carries both reports of new unrest in Iran and e-mails scoffing at the idea. Ahmadinejad rebukes President Obama. The twitter feed #iranelection carries reports of strikes and protests but also more desperate sounding pleas not to lose interest in the protests.

At least the White House has rescinded the July 4rth invitations to Iranian diplomats to join in our celebrations.

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