Thursday, January 7, 2010

Libertarian Party wants open health care negotiations

The Libertarian Party (LP) calls on President Obama to not break yet another campaign promise by directing Congress to have an open, televised format for all future negotiations on the health care overhaul bills under consideration in Congress.

In 2008, then-Senator Obama promised at least eight times on the campaign trail to have open, transparent negotiations regarding a health care overhaul bill. That promise has been broken. Most substantive negotiations have occurred behind closed doors, not "on C-SPAN" as the President repeatedly promised.

The LP urges President Obama and Congressional leaders to hold all future negotiations in an open, televised format, as the President promised.

William Redpath, LP National Chairman, commented, "The President has no power to force Congress to hold televised negotiations, but he is clearly the driving force behind the health care legislation being considered by the Congress. Unfortunately, the President doesn't want to keep his promise. And, we all know why. Public approval of health care overhaul is down to about 40% and is sure to plummet further once a little sunshine is inserted into the legislative process."

Redpath continued, "Open negotiations would let Americans see how esthetically pleasing sausage making is when compared to Congress' negotiation process and the details of the health care legislation. The public would gain a much better understanding of how horrible this legislation is. President Obama and Democratic Party leaders probably think open negotiations would create a public groundswell that would effectively kill their ill-considered remake of one-sixth of the American economy that would likely bring the day of our next financial crisis that much closer."

Redpath concluded, "Government has an enormous cost estimate credibility problem. When Medicare Part A started in 1965, the projected cost in 1990 was $9 billion. It turned out to be $67 billion. When Medicaid's special hospitals subsidy was added in 1987, it was only supposed to cost $100 million per year, but, by 1992, it cost 110 times that amount. If the government is wrong by a factor of 7.5 or more this time, the result will truly be catastrophic for the US economy."

The LP opposes both the House and Senate versions of the current health care overhaul bill.

On the subject of health care, the LP 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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