Monday, April 4, 2011

Palin on the Issues: Health Care Reform

This is the fourth installment of a series of posts highlighting Sarah Palin's policy positions. The following is a list of op-eds and Facebook writings by Palin, relating to health care. Following each link, is a brief excerpt from each article.

Palin has been a vocal critic of ObamaCare from day one - coining the phrase "death panels," which very succinctly describes what typically happens when government-run health care programs run out of money - ultimately resulting in rationed care.

In addition to leading the charge in the battle against ObamaCare, Palin has proposed numerous free-market solutions to improving the affordability and accessibility of health care insurance. Several are included in her op-eds and Facebook posts. They include - giving individuals the same tax benefits received by those who get coverage through their employers, Medicare vouchers, tort reform, allowing people to purchase insurance across state lines, tackling existing government waste and fraud, and health savings accounts.

The first three installments of this series (Energy Independence, Entitlement Reform, and National Security / Foreign Policy) can be found under the tag, "Palin on the Issues." I will provide updates to these to include Palin's new writings as they become available.

Op-ed

Obama and the Bureaucratization of Health Care (Wall Street Journal) (Sept. 8th, 2009)
...Instead of poll-driven "solutions," let's talk about real health-care reform: market-oriented, patient-centered, and result-driven. As the Cato Institute's Michael Cannon and others have argued, such policies include giving all individuals the same tax benefits received by those who get coverage through their employers; providing Medicare recipients with vouchers that allow them to purchase their own coverage; reforming tort laws to potentially save billions each year in wasteful spending; and changing costly state regulations to allow people to buy insurance across state lines. Rather than another top-down government plan, let's give Americans control over their own health care...
Facebook Posts (20):

Lies, Damned Lies – Obamacare 6 Months Later; It’s Time to Take Back the 20! (Sept 23, 2010)
...But perhaps the most ridiculous promise of all was the president’s assurance that Obamacare will lead to “bending the curve” on health care spending. Yes, rationing is a part of the new system, and yes, Obamacare does raise taxes. But because the new government managed system is so incredibly complicated and expensive to run, health care spending will actually rise instead of fall. Don’t believe me? Then take a look at the Congressional Budget Office’s admittance that the CBO’s original estimate of the total costs of the bill were off by around $115 billion. Its new estimate is now above $1 trillion, and even that may be way too low. A more realistic figure calculated by the Pacific Research Institute puts the number at $2.5 to $3 trillion over the next 10 years! This is probably what President Obama was referring to when he admitted recently that he had known all along that “at the margins” his proposals were going to drive up costs. Give us a break! Only in this administration would they refer to a $3 trillion spending increase as “marginal.” Next time he comes to us with another one of his harebrained proposals for a budget-busting federal power grab, let’s make sure we remember the president’s admission that he was lying all along when he told us his health care plan was going to cut costs. He is increasing costs. He admits it now. Period...
With a Stiff Spine America Must Stand Against Obamacare(Mar. 14th, 2010)
If Senator Reid, Speaker Pelosi, and President Obama get their way, soon our country will be changed forever. Using every partisan parliamentary trick in the book (including some they invented just last week), Washington’s Left intends to ram through their takeover of our health care system regardless of the consequences...
Fact-Checking Obamacare summit (Feb 26th, 2010)
We should be thankful for yesterday’s 7-hour health care summit – it was helpful in that it allowed Americans to hear the fundamental differences in approaches to meeting health care challenges. On one side, commonsense conservatives laid out fiscally-sound, free market-based, patient-centered solutions; and on the left’s side we heard about the Democrats' belief that growing government is the only way to meet challenges...
More of the Same, Only More Expensive (Feb 24th, 2010)
...What’s in this “new” proposal? It has the unpopular (and arguably unconstitutional) individual mandate that forces people and employers to purchase health insurance – only this time with much harsher fines on employers who choose not to go along with another expensive government mandate. It has provisions that will make employers think twice before expanding their workforce. It has cuts to Medicare Advantage, a popular program which allows seniors to pay a little more money out of pocket for better coverage. And, of course, it still has sweetheart deals – only this time they’ve been extended even more.
Obamacare = Stray Dog, So Says President (Jan. 30th, 2010)
What am I missing, folks? We’re called obstructionists and made to feel uninformed in the Obamacare debate as we point out this is not a patient-driven, market-oriented approach to health care cost challenges. We’ve been saying for months that this is government takeover of our personal choices of insurers and doctors. We’re called liars when claiming that this is all about government mandates and control of up to a sixth of our economy.

And yet, shockingly, the president admitted yesterday exactly what we’ve been saying: that his Democrats and lobbyists have crafted bills that in fact will prevent us from keeping our current insurance and/or choosing our own doctor...
Union Brothers and Sisters: Your Leadership Doesn’t Get It – You Deserve Better (Jan 15, 2010)
In the latest to come out of D.C.’s backroom health care deals, President Obama yesterday cut a doozy of a deal with labor union bosses. The fed’s health care plan must be so bad that even union bosses had to go to D.C. to say they wanted out. So... to keep their support for a flawed plan they got an exemption to provisions in the deal that others did not. Small business owners, our families running America’s mom & pops, did not get this deal. Ask yourself: why did union bosses get special treatment? And when did our country’s unions get on the wrong track with moves like this that hurt their good members and put them in such a bad light?...
Midnight Votes, Backroom Deals, and a Death Panel (Dec 22nd, 2009)
...Though Nancy Pelosi and friends have tried to call “death panels” the “lie of the year,” this type of rationing – what the CBO calls “reduc[ed] access to care” and “diminish[ed] quality of care” – is precisely what I meant when I used that metaphor...
Cancer Screenings - Rational Advice or Rationed Care? (Nov 19th, 2009)
...Now, tonight, more disconcerting news – the New York Times reports of new guidelines to scale back cervical cancer screenings. The recommendation from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists comes on the heels of another recommendation to limit breast cancer screenings with mammograms. There are many questions unanswered for me, but one which immediately comes to mind is whether costs have anything to do with these recommendations. The current health care debate elicits great concern because of its introduction of socialized medicine in America and the inevitable rationed care. We need to carefully watch this debate as it coincides with Capitol Hill’s debate and determine whether we are witnessing the early stages of that rationed care before the Senate bill is rushed through as well...
Pelosi "Health Plan" Should Be DOA (Nov. 12th, 2009)
...There are other ways to reform health care without violating our Constitution and our personal liberties. Let’s get back to discussing market-driven, patient-centered, result-driven solutions, like, for example, allowing people to purchase insurance across state lines, tackling existing government waste and fraud, and reforming medical malpractice laws (tort reform) to stop unwarranted lawsuits that force doctors to order unnecessary procedures just to cover themselves...
The Pelosi Bill Was Rammed Through on Saturday, But Sunday’s Coming (Nov 7th, 2009)
...But despite this late-night maneuvering, many of us were paying close attention tonight. We’ll keep paying close attention. We need to let our legislators in Washington know that they still represent us, and that the majority of Americans are not in favor of the “reform” they are pushing. After all, this is still a country “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” We will make our voices heard. It’s on to the Senate now. Our legislators can listen now, or they can hear us in 2010. It’s their choice.
Speaker Pelosi: Your Blue Dogs are Howling (Nov 7th, 2009)
...How will we pay for it? Taxes, of course – and not just on the “rich” (you know, the people who spur the economy by buying goods and running companies that employ people), but also on just about everyone, especially small businesses – the job-creating engine of our economy. One of the points of health care reform was to help small businesses with the cost, but this bill hurts them – and right at a time when so many Americans are out of work and need the jobs that small businesses produce...
Good Intentions Aren't Enough with Health Care Reform (Oct. 17th, 2009)
...Here’s a novel idea. Instead of working contrary to the free market, let’s embrace the free market. Instead of going to war with certain private sector companies, let’s embrace real private-sector competition and allow consumers to purchase plans across state lines. Instead of taxing the so-called “Cadillac” plans that people get through their employers, let’s give individuals who purchase their own health care the same tax benefits we currently give employer-provided health care recipients. Instead of crippling Medicare, let’s reform it by providing recipients with vouchers so that they can purchase their own coverage...
Response to the President's Health Care Speech (Sept 9th, 2009)
...In fact, after promising to “make sure that no government bureaucrat .... gets between you and the health care you need,” the President repeated his call for an Independent Medicare Advisory Council -- an unelected, largely unaccountable group of bureaucrats charged with containing Medicare costs. He did not disavow his own statement that such a group, working outside of “normal political channels,” should guide decisions regarding that “huge driver of cost ... the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives....” He did not disavow the statements of his health care advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, and continuing to pay his salary with taxpayer dollars proves a commitment to his beliefs. The President can keep making unsupported assertions, but until he directly responds to the arguments I’ve made, I’m going to call him out too...
Response to the White House (Sept 9th, 2009)
...I'm pleased that the White House is finally responding to Republican health care ideas instead of pretending they don't exist.[1] But in doing so President Obama should follow his own sound advice and avoid making "wild misrepresentations".[2] Medicare vouchers would give everyone on Medicare the chance to decide for themselves which health plan to use, rather than leave that decision to government bureaucrats. Such proposals are the kind of health care reform that Republicans stand for: market-oriented, patient-centered, and result-driven.

The White House talking points leave the rest of my arguments unanswered. They don't respond to the idea that all individuals should get the same tax benefits received by those who get coverage through their employers; that we must reform our tort laws; and that we should allow Americans to buy insurance across state lines. The White House also fails to respond to the Nyce/Schieber study indicating that wages will fall if the government expands coverage without reducing health care inflation rates...
Written Testimony Submitted to the New York State Senate Aging Committee (Sept 8th, 2009)
Dear Senator Diaz,

Thank you for asking me to participate in the New York State Senate Aging Committee’s hearing regarding H.R. 3200, “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.” You and I share a commitment to ensuring that our health care system is not “reformed” at the expense of America’s senior citizens.

I have been vocal in my opposition to Section 1233 of H.R.3200, entitled “Advance Care Planning Consultation.”[1] Proponents of the bill have described this section as an entirely voluntary provision that simply increases the information offered to Medicare recipients. That is misleading. The issue is the context in which that information is provided and the coercive effect these consultations will have in that context...
No Health Care Reform Without Legal Reform (Aug 21st, 2009)
...Many states, including my own state of Alaska, have enacted caps on lawsuit awards against health care providers. Texas enacted caps and found that one county’s medical malpractice claims dropped 41 percent, and another study found a “55 percent decline” after reform measures were passed. [4] That’s one step in health care reform. Limiting lawyer contingency fees, as is done under the Federal Tort Claims Act, is another step. The State of Alaska pioneered the “loser pays” rule in the United States, which deters frivolous civil law suits by making the loser partially pay the winner’s legal bills. Preventing quack doctors from giving “expert” testimony in court against real doctors is another reform.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry noted that, after his state enacted tort reform measures, the number of doctors applying to practice medicine in Texas “skyrocketed by 57 percent” and that the tort reforms “brought critical specialties to underserved areas.” These are real reforms that actually improve access to health care...
Troubling Questions Remain About Obama's Health Care Plan (Aug 13th, 2009)
...Health care is without a doubt a complex and contentious issue, but health care reform should be a market oriented solution. There are many ways we can reform the system and lower costs without nationalizing it.

The economist Arthur Laffer has taken the lead in pushing for a patient-center health care reform policy. He noted in a Wall Street Journal article earlier this month:

“A patient-centered health-care reform begins with individual ownership of insurance policies and leverages Health Savings Accounts, a low-premium, high-deductible alternative to traditional insurance that includes a tax-advantaged savings account. It allows people to purchase insurance policies across state lines and reduces the number of mandated benefits insurers are required to cover. It reallocates the majority of Medicaid spending into a simple voucher for low-income individuals to purchase their own insurance. And it reduces the cost of medical procedures by reforming tort liability laws.” [8]

Those are real reforms that we can live with and afford. Once again, I warn my fellow Americans that if we go down the path of nationalized health care, there will be no turning back. We must stop and think or we may find ourselves losing even more of our freedoms.
Concerning the "Death Panels" (Aug 12th, 2009)
...My original comments concerned statements made by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a health policy advisor to President Obama and the brother of the President’s chief of staff. Dr. Emanuel has written that some medical services should not be guaranteed to those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens....An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.” [10] Dr. Emanuel has also advocated basing medical decisions on a system which “produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.”...
Palin Reduced Medicaid Backlog 83% In Two Years (Aug 11th, 2009)
Contrary to some assertions, Sarah Palin has a strong record supporting Alaskan seniors. For example, Governor Palin successfully obtained approval for a five year extension of a state program that provided monthly cash payments to low-income seniors.

On May 23, 2007, using a rarely invoked emergency regulation, Governor Palin ordered assistance benefits to continue for Alaska’s neediest seniors after the Alaska legislature failed to fund the SeniorCare Program. After her action, the legislature responded, and on July 28, 2007, Governor Palin signed Senate Bill 4 to continue support for low-income Alaskan seniors by adopting the Senior Benefits Program. “This program continues important assistance to Alaska seniors,” Governor Palin said. “I promised that seniors would not go hungry, and we worked with the Alaska Legislature to address this critical need.” It was estimated that 10,700 Alaskan seniors would be able to benefit under the program...
Statement on the Current Health Care Debate (Aug 7th, 2009)
...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...

7 comments:

Right Wingnut said...

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2699566/posts

Revolution 2010 said...

This was a good idea RWN.

I don't think I've ever seen all of her positions in one central spot before.

BOSMAN said...

RWN,

Are you posting this resource at the pro-Palin sites?

Right Wingnut said...

Bos,

One comment with a link at C4P...cross post at Free Republic and Team Sarah.

BOSMAN said...

RWN,

The reason I asked was, that MRC is a resource for everything Romney on the issues. They have it broken down so it's easy to navigate and find things.

C4P has a Palin on issues, but all it is is a bunch of posts. You would think being the main Palin site, they would have it broken down like you are doing.

I'm surprised they're not on top of that for their candidate.

Right Wingnut said...

Bos, I just took a look at MRC's "on the issues" section. I agree that it's quite good. It's just quotes from books and speeches, along with some video clips - nothing official. C4P could certainly do the same thing.

Olivia said...

Thanks for compiling all the positions about health care reform. Palin in proposing numerous free-market solutions to improve the affordability and accessibility of health care insurance is quite impressive though.

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