Health care reform: Can we send this gift back?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Taxpayers got a Christmas present courtesy of the U.S. Senate that, unfortunately, we can’t return.

On Christmas Eve, the Senate voted along party lines to pass the most sweeping social reform since Social Security, approving the massive health care legislation that guarantees almost universal medical coverage for the first time to all Americans.

The problem, of course, lies in the cost. And in the hidden costs.

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The package, which was pushed through by Democrats anxious to make something happen by a randomly chosen Christmas deadline, is cumbersome, chaotic and costly. It lacks the support and confidence of most Americans who support the concept of expanding medical coverage but question the reality of the cost of this plan outlined in this package.

The package will likely increase taxes on those President Obama promised would not see tax increases during his candidacy just a year ago. It will undoubtedly raise the national debt by millions of dollars each year. And it will pass along even more debt to states, who already are struggling under the burdens of operating within a balanced budget each year.

Ultimately, that means all Americans are going to feel the pinch – the pain – of this package through additional state taxes; direct health care costs; and federal taxes – all for a flawed package that was driven by a need for a political victory by the Democratic Party.

It’s gifts like this we wish we could refuse.