For many years, I have heard people say that government should be about the "people's business". This has two meanings: that the chosen form of government in America should be for the people and about what the people want and that the people chosen (elected) to lead should spend their time taking care of the business of the people of the nation as a whole. Lately, I think this has been forgotten in Washington. In the past nine months, rarely has Congress been "about the people's business".
It all started with a stimulus package that most Americans were against and viewed as having very little chance of actually stimulating the economy, but Congress rammed it through in record time and Obama signed it. With one pen stroke, he saddled our children and grandchildren with an almost insurmountable debt. Then, came the bailout of the auto industry or more specifically, GM and Chrysler. Of course, the jobs of the auto workers in Michigan were important, but their importance did not justify the United States government entering into the auto manufacturing business or the forced resignation of GM's CEO, Rick Wagoner. Since when did it become the federal government's right to tell the CEO of a private industry that he must resign? Next, Obama and certain members of Congress began pushing the "Cap and Trade" bill in an effort to "protect the environment". Of course, this plan does little to protect the environment and much to destroy private industry and increase utility taxes on every taxpayer. Fortunately, this bill still has a few hurdles to make before becoming law since it was sidelined to focus on the next offender - health care, or if you prefer, Obama-care.
The Congress has spent countless hours on the creation of a health care plan to provide insurance for all 307+ million Americans. Although the health insurance industry needs some revision, most Americans are happy with the insurance plan they currently have. In spite of record turnouts at Town Hall meetings nationwide throughout the August recess and national polls from multiple, unbiased sources, the Democrats are still determined to pass a health care bill that insures everyone and includes a public option, and most likely, allows illegals to participate in the system. The Democratic members of both the House and the Senate are willing to force the passage of this bill without any bi-partisan support merely because Reid and Pelosi are twisting their arms to do so. Even the so called "Blue Dog Democrats" are being manhandled into submission by their party leaders and urged to fall into lockstep with the rest of the party on this issue.
Perhaps it is because they are aware that the prediction of Sen Jim DeMint could become true if this fails. In July, he said "If we're (Republicans) able to stop Obama on this (health care), it will be his Waterloo." Obama has attempted to paint the insurance industry with the same brush that he paints all his political enemies with - that of ignorance, lack of compassion, unimaginable profit margins and general disgust and has trotted out his party faithful to back up his claims. Earlier this year, Democrats have made claims that the insurance industry's profit margins are "obscene" and "immoral" and Obama has said that this plan "would keep insurance companies honest", which of course, implies that they are not. Several organizations have done some fact checking and have shown for 2008, the health insurance industry profits rank 35th in the nation, below railroads, Yahoo, Coors and even Tupperware, which had a 7.5% profit margin. The average profit for insurance - just 2.2%. Does this sound like an industry with "obscene" and "immoral" profits? Not to me, it doesn't.
Reform needs to take place within the health care system, but a complete overhaul with government funded health care is not the answer. This system will inevitably lead to poorer health care and inadequate services. It is a simple matter of mathematics: if you take 200,000 doctors who are currently seeing 200 million patients and add an additional 50 million people to the system with no additional physicians, there simply won't be enough physicians to handle the number of patients. The answer then becomes long lines and rationed care. Right now, we have the finest medical care in the world. People travel from distant lands to visit our physicians and have surgeries performed in our hospitals by the finest surgeons. Rationed health care will most certainly damage this quality of care and Americans will suffer from limited access to necessary medical services. This is not what Americans want and this is not the people's business they should be focusing on.
While Congress and President Obama deliberate on health care, unemployment continues to rise, factories are still being shut down, workers being laid off and in many cases, their jobs outsourced to foreign countries, banks are still closing, homes are still being foreclosed on and our troops are still languishing in the field awaiting reinforcements. Surely, these issues have a greater impact on "the people" than passing a health care bill that won't even go into effect until 2013. Surely, our members of Congress could spend less time demonizing Humana and Blue Cross and more time demonizing the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Surely Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi could twist the arms of their party members to prevail upon business owners in their districts to keep their businesses open and the workers employed. This IS the business of the people and this is the reason they were elected.
There is no provision for health care in the Constitution, but it does mention their obligation to their duties as a member of Congress. This duty is to represent the WILL OF THE PEOPLE, not the will of the Majority Leader or Speaker of the House or even the President. The oath states: "I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely' without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God." This is an oath they are sworn to uphold and as citizens and voters, we are duty bound to ensure that they do so. The true test of this duty will come in November 2010. I sure hope we pass with flying colors.