Monday, August 10, 2009
Senator Mark Begich (AK-D) has yet another opportunity to prove to the voters of Alaska that he is on their side. He had a chance to do so when he instead opted to vote for the non-stimulus package that would deepen the sea of debt America is swimming in. He had another chance to do so when he chose last week to vote to appoint to the Supreme Court a woman who does not support 2nd Amendment rights--rights that are so important to Alaska and Alaskans. Perhaps there's something in the water in Washington that causes some to forget that they are there to represent the people who sent them there. Yes, I know it's easy to forget in this day and age, but our senators are hired by their constituents to stand up and fight for them. It's not the other way around, believe it or not. Senator Begich now has another opportunity to do something right--and Alaskans, I know, are hoping he's up to the challenge.
The president's health care proposal is at the fore of everyone's mind right now, and now is not the time for our elected officials to play dumb or to be dumb, for that matter. It's time for them to know the facts, address the issues, and shoot straight from the hip. And Mark Begich will have the chance to do all of this when he appears at the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce today, August 10th, to answer questions on health care reform.
So far, all that is on record from Begich is a Youtube video of his July 27th iTown Hall Meeting. His comments were unclear, to say the least. For example, read the following:
"If you got a doctor now, you got a medical professional that you want, you get to keep that. If you have an insurance program or health care policy you want of ideas, make sure you keep it-that you can keep who you want. That we keep that patient/doctor relationship very strong. Pre-existing conditions is a principle that must be in all health care reform. That no matter what pre-existing condition you have that you can be covered, and that you can have portability between employer to employer. Also strengthening our veterans as well as our Indian Health Services are also important. And the two other last pieces I'll mention is ensuring that prevention and wellness is a critical piece, and that the small business community also has the opportunity to receive access to affordable health care for not only their - themselves as entrepreneurs, but also their employees. It is clear by a data report we laid out recently that if we don't do this, especially around the business - the small business community, it is estimated over the next decade by doing nothing will be about a hundred billion cost to the small business community, which means we all pay for it one way or another."My reaction each of the three times I read this was the same: What?!
I don't know about you, but I'm left with no clear understanding of what the senator is talking about. Look, now is not the time to talk around issues. It's certainly not the time to speak in generalities--or foreign languages. Americans are fearful about this new health care legislation that Congress is attempting to force upon them. They are worried about government once again interfering in their lives. It's bad enough when government seeks to take over the mortgage and car industries, but when they seek to push their way into life or death issues like health care, people are a little uncomfortable, to say the least--and they want real answers.
As Alaskans meet with Senator Begich later today, I am sure, among other things, they're going to want to ask him where he stands on rationed care; why the American people will be financing health care for illegal aliens; taxes being assessed those who choose not to switch to the government's health care--making it very difficult to afford to keep one's own health care provider, by the way; and the government's end of life decision-making power. They're going to want to know why the bill seeks to reduce physician services for seniors, low income people, and the poor; what gives the government health care administration the right to access all Americans' financial and personal records; and, no doubt, they will want to know if he, too, will be embracing this government health care for himself.
Senator Begich will have to do better than he did in the above statement if he wants Alaskans to be satisfied. See, they've already heard former Governor Sarah Palin's comments on health care. Her position is both loud and clear--and Begich needs to be able to handle the concerns that she expressed in her statement below:
As more Americans delve into the disturbing details of the nationalized health care plan that the current administration is rushing through Congress, our collective jaw is dropping, and we’re saying not just no, but hell no!
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.
Rep. Michele Bachmann highlighted the Orwellian thinking of the president’s health care advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of the White House chief of staff, in a floor speech to the House of Representatives. I commend her for being a voice for the most precious members of our society, our children and our seniors.
We must step up and engage in this most crucial debate. Nationalizing our health care system is a point of no return for government interference in the lives of its citizens. If we go down this path, there will be no turning back. Ronald Reagan once wrote, “Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.” Let’s stop and think and make our voices heard before it’s too late.
- Sarah Palin
Something I learned about Alaskans during my trip there recently: They are straight-forward, no-nonsense people, and they expect the same from their elected officials. Senator Begich will be wise to remember that before he votes on this health care bill.