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The “Government Option” Debate: Call Senators Baucus, Conrad and Dodd ASAP

Wednesday, June 10, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The New York Times reports that a trio of powerful, hard-left Democratic Congressmen are close to pushing through the federal government take-over of American medicine via the so-called “government option,” which would effectively establish “single payer” in the U.S. Congressmen Charles Rangel, George Miller and Henry Waxman are driving this radical proposal through the House and have thus far faced no opposition within their own ranks. Only a small amount of opposition has surfaced in the Senate.

“We saw a Washington takeover with banks,” Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference told the Times. “We saw Washington try to take over student loans. We see a Washington takeover with car companies. And now we see an attempt to have a Washington takeover with a government-run health care plan.”

What most Americans with insurance don’t seem to realize is that many if not most of their employers will quickly dump them into a government-run plan as a way to limit health care costs and increase profits. Even teachers and other public employees are going to wake up to find that their districts, cities, counties and states have off-loaded their expensive, gold-plated plans into the “government option.”

“Americans want reform that addresses the high cost of care and gives everyone access to quality care,” the Washington Post quoted Republican Mitch McConnell as saying on the Senate floor last week. “But creating a government bureaucracy that denies, delays and rations health care is not the reform they want. They don’t want the people who brought us the Department of Motor Vehicles making life-and-death decisions for them.”

Stopping the “government option” should be a priority of organized labor that has won their workers excellent health coverage, but they are as cowed as the AMA and the hospitals by the Obama/Pelosi/Reid hard-left edge of the Democratic Party.

There is very little time left to stop the destruction of American medicine as we know it, and that effort must be led by doctors who know what it means when bureaucrats begin to decide what treatments will be approved for which patients –rationing.

I wrote about the responsibility of doctors here, and have provided
The key contacts in the Senate are Max Baucus, Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd. Call their offices via 202-225-3121. Tell them you oppose the “government option” and that you will work to defeat them and to fund and elect their opponents if the government option is part of the Senate’s plan.

Dodd is already on the ropes in Connecticut. If his opponent Rob Simmons gets funded by angry doctors and other medical professionals, Dodd is finished. He knows that and opponents of the “government option” need to tell Senator Dodd that his willingness to work for the destruction of their practices means their willingness to work for his retirement.

I’ll provide a list of other Democratic senators who have to hear the same message later today.

If you are an M.D., consider joining forces with other doctors who are fighting to save American medicine from the control of the hard left: Docs4Patientcare.org.

UPDATE: Democratic senators, up for re-election in 2010, who need to hear from you via 202-225-3121 include:

Arkansas’ Blanche Lincoln

New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand

Indiana’s Evan Bayh

North Dakota’s Byron Dorgan

Colorado’s Michael Bennet

Pennsylvania’s Arlen Specter

Oregon’s Ron Wyden

Washington’s Patty Murray and

yes, Nevada’s Harry Reid. If Majority Leader Reid felt pressure in Nevada, he could single-handedly defeat the “government option.” As of yet, he doesn’t.

Doctors need to call these offices via the Senate switchboard, 202-225-3121 and deliver the blunt message: The government option will cripple American medicine and anyone who supports it is an enemy of doctors and health care professionals.

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“The implications of the court’s move -Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued a one-sentence order that amounted to a holding action -are unclear.”

Tuesday, June 9, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I do not expect the SCOTUS to muster the votes to delay the flying wedge that is the Obama Administration’s “plan” for Detroit. Though hundreds of thousands of shareholders, bondholders, employees of shuttered dealerships and the rights of secured creditors have been steam-rolled, it would require great political courage by five members of the Court to refuse to be rolled.

As this New York Times article makes plain, agenda-journalists are at the ready to paint SCOTUS as Lochner-era reactionaries if a majority rebukes the trampling of the legal rights of anyone thrown from bus in the past few weeks.

The remedy for the nationalization of GM and the forced-sale of Chrysler will be a political one, as Senator Lamar Alexander made clear on yesterday’s show. The nationalization of GM into Government Motors is deeply unpopular, and though there are attempts to paint the widespread rejection of the socialist model as “right wing barking,” in fact the average American doesn’t want the government in the car business, and doesn’t trust Government Motors to compete fairly with every non-government owned car company. Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article surveying the huge advantages the new Government Motors has over Ford should give pause to the men and women working for the latter, as well as Ford dealers, Ford suppliers and Ford shareholders. Political ideology has very little to do with the unfairness of seeing the federal government pump between 70 and 75 billion into your competitors coffers.

If the Court were to block the transformation of the U.S. auto industry into a subsidiary of the Democratic Party, it would be acting on behalf of every auto worker and shareholder employed by or invested in any car company other than GM and Chrysler. The surveying of everyone who stands to lose when President Obama and Barney Frank begin to make decisions for Government Motors may give the justices pause, but don’t count on five of them saying to the president that he needs to get Congressional authorization for his nationalization of GM.

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