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Does our government have the cure?

August 15, 2009|By LLOYD "PETE" WATERS

P.J. O'Rourke once observed that "giving power and money to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."

As I watch the fiasco unwind in regard to health insurance for uninsured Americans, I can't help but have some concerns.

If you agree that everyone should have health insurance then there needs to be a remedy to the problem.

That said, how do we best resolve this matter? What is the fix?

Our government's solution is an 1,110-page bill. They would have you believe it is a simple fix that can be paid for by eliminating waste and taxing the rich.

Many Americans are more skeptical.

People who have good health insurance are leery that the new program will not be as good as what they have.

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People who do not have health insurance are looking for something to relieve them of potential medical burdens.

As a taxpayer, should I take comfort in the government's plan to remedy the health insurance problem?

Well, let me share a few of my observations.

Our government has told us that Medicare and Medicaid are full of wasteful spending. Eliminating this waste can pay for the new program, they proffer.

Who, I wondered, has been in charge of Medicare and Medicaid and who is responsible for this waste?

Our government has told us that Social Security will soon be insolvent if some changes are not made. We must fix the problem, they say.

Who, I wondered, is in charge of Social Security?

Our government has told us that there is other wasteful spending in government and we need to eliminate this waste.

Who, I wondered, squandered billions of dollars in waste in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina?

Our government has told us that greedy bankers and mortgage lenders help create the downfall of our economy and now, a trillion-dollar stimulus package is necessary to bail out those banks, car manufacturers and others.

Who, I wondered, was watching Wall Street and the economy as it became dismantled?

Our government has told us that the immigration problem is draining many state coffers and placing a great financial burden on our country.

Who, I wondered, is in charge of resolving the immigration problem?

Our government now tells us it is time to resolve the health insurance crisis, and we must seize the moment and pass this 1,100-page bill immediately. To not support this bill is un-American.

Umm, I wonder if it is un-American for politicians to squander so many opportunities to be competent.

I have to tell you, I wish every single American had health insurance. I also wish someone other than government was in charge of the program.

Some of the examples offered in regard to how government resolves problems are not very encouraging to me. The confidence of Americans in supporting government initiatives, I believe, is significantly diminishing.

Ronald Reagan once suggested that the nine most terrifying words in the English language were, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

He saw, from a unique position, the shortcomings of our government's operation.

Americans see many of the same shortcomings in regard to government-sponsored solutions. They are fed up with the cure costing more than the disease.

Politicians saturated by power and money want you to believe that their solution is always right.

Based on past performances, I can't get very excited about the government's plan to fix health insurance.

Since some politicians think it un-American not to fully support their current thinking in regard to health insurance, here's a message for you: You crud balls have been wasting far too much money in the name of good government for far too long. It's time for you to clean up your act and then maybe some confidence in politics might be restored.

If you could retrieve every dollar that has been wasted by our government since taxation began, we could probably offer health insurance to every living person on the planet ... free of charge!

Let the debate continue ...

Lloyd "Pete" Waters is a Sharpsburg resident who writes for The Herald-Mail

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