Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Republicans Release Healthcare Bill of Rights

Hello. I am Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican Party. This summer I stopped spouting off crazy stuff long enough to conduct a series of conversations about healthcare with my fellow citizens. This led us to lay out a Republican set of principles, to contrast with the socialistic plan my homie President Obama has been proposing (Or "layin' down" , as we say in the hood).

1. The government shall not interfere in medical decisions, which should solely be determined in private discussions between a patient and his or her insurance company. Their highly trained staff (who have studied for months if not occasionally years) will know whether you really need that gallbladder surgery your doctor recommended or whether a dose of antacids will do just as well.

2. No decision is more sensitive than choosing what care we would want should we become incapacitated and no longer able to decide for ourselves. Such discussions should be conducted in privacy between family members and cable news shows. Painful decisions about when to withdraw care should be left to those closest to the affected patient, such as former Congressman Tom Delay and Republican members of Congress.

3. Individuals need to take more responsibility for their own health. People who are too poor to afford insurance should not get sick. And if you do have insurance, but have a costly condition such as cancer, for God's sake don't risk your job by skipping out all the time for yet another "chemotherapy" session. Hey, we'd all like an excuse to go sit in a nce big lounge chair for a few hours but work comes first.

4. America has the best and most innovative insurance companies in the world. They make huge investments discovering new ways to deny claims, discoveries which make them the envy of insurance companies the world over. Do we really want to risk our world leadership in this area with frivolous regulations on these companies, such as requiring them to use the premiums they collect to pay for actual health care for sick people?

5. Controlling costs will require that we all become more knowledgeable consumers of health care. Republican reform proposals will make it easier for you to comparison shop to choose that hospital which provides the best combination of price and quality (we have even developed an app for your I-phone you can consult during your ambulance ride). But don't forget to include the costs for OR suite, perfusionist and anesthesiologist when pricing out your bypass surgery.

6. Requiring insurance companies to compete against a publicly funded option is unfair. Such a plan would provide such inferior care that it would kill people right and left and it would be so popular that it would put private insurers out of business. Imagine if our best universities had to compete against government-funded colleges.

7. People who cite the fact that the U.S. ranks last amongst Western countries in infant mortality and life-expectancy are using statistics selectively. The American health care leads the world in numerous other areas: health care spending, drug prices, health care profits, number of uninsured and most important, political contributions from health care organizations. Do we really want to risk all that just so everyone has access to health care? Isn't the waiting room already full enough at the doctor's office?

I recall one conversation I had with a constituent. She told me her family had lost their health insurance when her husband got laid off, and she spends all her time praying her diabetic son doesn't get sick. Well, I think it is something to celebrate that this health care debate has brought us back to prayer, spending time with family and appreciating what is really important. God Bless!