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FIRST-PERSON: Change imposed is change opposed

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)–President Obama,

Let me begin by offering belated, but hearty congratulations on your historic election to our nation’s highest office. Your victory proves the American ideal of equal opportunity is alive and well for anyone willing to sacrifice and work hard.

As a self-professed news-addict, I have been watching your efforts at health care reform, or health insurance reform as you recently started calling it, with much interest. I have to tell you, sir, I am deeply concerned with not only the content of the proposed legislation, but also with how you are promoting it.

In recent appearances you have said that you want to have a “reasoned debate” over legislation the House of Representatives is considering. You say that much of the negative reaction concerning the bill is simply due to misinformation.

But, sir, if you really desire a “reasoned debate” on health care reform, then why did you put pressure on Congress to pass a bill before the August recess? If you really want the American people informed, what was the rush?

My oldest son recently tried to sell me on the idea that I should purchase him a cell phone. He insisted that I needed to buy it now; the purchase simply could not wait. When I said that I needed to give the issue some thought, he said that I just needed to act. “Who do you think you are?” I asked. “President Obama?” If you don’t find the humor in my retort, you’re in good company; neither did he.

With all due respect, sir, the only reason that I can think of for you wanting the Congress to act on legislation in such a hasty fashion was so that no one, not even those voting on it, could know fully what was in it.

Now that many people have waded through the legalese contained in the 1000-plus pages of the legislation and details are coming out, people are deeply concerned — and they should be.

John David Lewis is one individual that has scrutinized the proposed health care legislation. Mr. Lewis is not your average Joe. He has a Ph.D. from Cambridge University and is visiting associate professor in the philosophy, politics and economics program at Duke University.

Mr. Lewis found some troubling information. Under his analysis, health care will be rationed and there will be no judicial review of the government’s decisions. Additionally, he found that those without “acceptable coverage” — and the government will decide what is “acceptable” — will be penalized with a special tax.

According to Lewis’ analysis, the proposed legislation will logically undermine and eventually destroy private insurance. It will also expand the power and reach of the Internal Revenue Service and require employers to provide personal information of employees to the government.

Space will not allow a detailed recitation of Lewis’s analysis. If you are so inclined, you can read all his findings on his website (classicalideals.com). However, the aforementioned revelations coupled with the end-of-life counseling included in the bill are quite unsettling.

I find it interesting, Mr. President, that the health care reform that you champion not only will restrict Americans’ choice concerning health insurance but will insert the government into health care decisions. I have heard you say that the government should not interfere with a woman’s decision to have an abortion and that it should only be between the woman and her doctor. If you are so adamant concerning “choice” and lack of government interference relating to abortion, then why then do you promote legislation that would insert the government into health care deliberations, possibly impacting Americans’ choice on health issues?

Mr. President, as I listen to many legislators discuss the proposed legislation, it seems clear they are simply ignorant concerning its contents. Had they succumbed to your desire to vote on it before the August recess, they would have been voting blind. I am hoping you will urge lawmakers to read the bills on which they vote — especially bills regarding health care.

The health care reform that you support, Mr. President, is fraught with problems and, according to recent polls, a plurality or majority of Americans are dead set against it.

As more information comes out on what is in the bill, expect the opposition only to grow in strength and number. Sir, what you are now experiencing is that change imposed is change that is opposed.
Kelly Boggs is a weekly columnist for Baptist Press and editor of the Baptist Message (www.baptistmessage.com), newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.

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  • Kelly Boggs