Republicans and conservative activists have also gotten into the act. A health care open hearing sponsored by Americans For Tax Reform this week turned out a variety of activists -- plus Senator Jim DeMint and former physician and current Congressman Tom Price -- to make the case that health care reform need not amount to a government takeover of health care. DeMint's plan echoes to a large degree John McCain's campaign proposal: provide credits for individual health care purchase, rein in trial lawyers, and allow interstate insurance sales to bolster competition and reduce costs.
Ever so slowly the voices of administration critics are being heard. Following Wednesday's ATR event, Shona Holmes of Patients United Now told Pajamas Media that Americans should be wary of going down the road which her native Canada and other countries like Britain have followed. Slowing losing her sight, she faced long waits for a specialist in Canada. Holmes came to the U.S. where she was promptly diagnosed with a brain tumor at the Mayo Clinic. If Americans go down the road of government-run, rationed care, she asks, where will they go for treatment?
And then there is Rick Scott who leads Conservatives for Patients Rights. He was also in attendance at Wednesday's event and has begun an ad campaign to show the future of ObamaCare. CPR's message: a government-run "effectiveness" board will put government bureaucrats in charge of, and ultimately ration, health care. By shedding a light on the plight of those in nationalized health care systems with patients who are forced to wait for vital care (and with doctors who must scam the system to obtain care for their patients), Scott's group directly challenges the premise of ObamaCare -- namely that it will improve health care in this country.
Word is slowly seeping out that Congress intends to have government boards provide binding advice on which procedures and treatment will be provided. As Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a physician and AEI fellow, points out: "The idea of an omnipotent board that makes unpopular decisions on access and price isn't a new construct. It's a European import. In countries such as France and Germany, layers of bureaucracy like health boards have been specifically engineered to delay the adoption of new medical products and services, thus lowering spending."
Time is not on the side of those pushing for a government takeover of health care. As the public, Congress, and critics discuss what ObamaCare really means, the prospect of a massive new tax scheme, uber-regulation of health care insurance and procedures, and an unprecedented expansion of the scope and size of the federal government raises more and more doubts.
Do we really want the people responsible for Katrina, the Post Office, Amtrak, and the Obama stimulus plan delivering health care?