Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Young Republicans have huge stake in healthcare debate

As the debate over the Reid/Pelosi/Obama government-run healthcare program has raged all summer and into the fall, the demographic group that has been most engaged and targeted has been the elderly. Medicare recipients have been rightly concerned about how the Democrat's plan would affect them. We all know that Obama has promised to cut $500 billion in "fraud and waste" from Medicare to pay for his plan. Of course this is ridiculous on it's face. If there is in fact that much fraud and waste in Medicare, then logically that money should be used to prevent the program from going bankrupt. If the government is actually capable of doing away with all this fraud and waste, then why haven't they done it yet? The truth is the $500 billion will be cut by reducing reimbursements to doctors and other providers. The result of this will be less doctors and facilities that are willing to accept Medicare and in turn rationing of care.

What has been largely missing from the discussion has been what the impact of this legislation will be on young people. As the Democrat's plans currently read, everyone will be required to purchase health insurance or pay a fine. In addition, a mere catastrophic coverage plan won't be adequate to meet the government mandate. The result of this requirement will be that the young and presumably healthy will be required to pay for the care of those of us that are between the ages of 35 and 55.

Young Republicans and independents have a huge stake in the healthcare debate, but have been ignored completely. We're talking about people just starting out in their adult lives. These are young people working at what may be their first, entry level jobs. Many may be saddled with student loans and be on tight budgets. Shouldn't they have the freedom to choose not to purchase health insurance, that they likely won't make much use of, so that they can balance their household budgets? What about the young Democrats? Rumor has it that they want their "free" healthcare and they want it now. So grandma and grandpa, kiss your Medicare goodbye. Shortsighted? You betcha! So it falls to young GOP and independent voters to take a stand. They need to ask their senators and representatives, "Where in the Constitution does it grant the Federal Government the power to mandate that citizens purchase healthcare insurance?" This mandate may require young Americans to pay up to $1000 a year if they choose not to purchase insurance. Does that sound like a "tax" on people earning less than $250,000 a year to you?

We have conservative candidates here in South Florida that will oppose the mutual agenda of Reid, Pelosi and Obama. Marco Rubio, Allen West, Robert Lowry and Edward Lynch, to name just a few, are all conservative candidates that know there are better ways to fix our healthcare insurance problems, without destroying the best healthcare system in the world. Young Republicans need to get engaged and support these candidates. The stakes for young adults are at least as great as for the elderly, probably even greater.

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