Friday, September 11, 2009

Libertarians respond to President Obama's health care speech

In the wake of President Obama's speech to Congress, America's third-largest party wants to remind voters about Republican support for government-run health care plans.

William Redpath, chairman of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) commented, "Make no mistake, the Libertarian Party is opposed to President Obama's health care plans, and his speech last night has not budged us. But we also opposed Republican plans for big-government health care, many of which have been implemented in recent years."

In 2003, President Bush and the Republican Congress enacted a Medicare prescription drug expansion. It was originally expected to cost $400 billion, but just two years later the cost was revised upward to $1.2 trillion.

In 2006, Republican Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney supported and signed a bill that required all residents to purchase health insurance, and increased state health insurance funding.

In 2007, Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry issued an executive order to force sixth-grade schoolgirls to receive HPV vaccinations.

This year, congressional Republicans put forward the "Patients' Choice Act of 2009," which would increase federal government spending and control of health care in a variety of ways.

The Libertarian Party has put a poll on on its home page to allow voters to choose which Republican plan is the most hypocritical.

Redpath said, "Republicans are living in glass houses when they complain about the President's health care plans and the bills in the Democratic-controlled Congress."

Redpath continued, "It's time for President Obama to be intellectually honest, himself, and to stop inferring that his ideas of health care reform are the only ones out there. With neither of the major parties is there any serious discussion about letting individuals control their own health care dollars, moving away from employer-provided health insurance, and increasing competition among insurance companies by letting people purchase health insurance across state lines and among providers by taking a good, long look at medical education and licensure laws to allow potential providers to freely respond to health consumers' needs."

Redpath continued, "But, before the President and the Gang of 535 even do that, it would be refreshing to at least hear them debate whether the federal government is empowered to be in the middle of all of this. An honest reading of the Constitution might stimulate the right move -- punting this to the states and the people."

The Libertarian Party favors a free market health care system. The party's platform states, "We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want, the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions."

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