October 16 2009
Nicole Kurokawa Neily
Remarks made by Nicole Kurokawa at the
Patients First Ladies Tea Party
Saturday, September 12, 2009
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
Thank you to Patients First for putting on such a wonderful event, and thank you Betsy/ Tracy/ Kristan for your very moving comments.
I am now going to report you all to the White House for sedition.
Funny, isn't it, that in the same breath we're told that the system is totally broken and we need to "change" everything - but that you don't have to change if you don't want to, and that you can keep your current health plans and doctors. You know, and I know, that this plan is a wolf in sheep's clothing.
And we also know that this battle is not just about health care. It's about an individual's relationship to the government. And this "health care reform" that's being shoved down our throats is one step along the way to fundamentally redefining that relationship.
It didn't have to come to this. This is your fault, though. You have not been making good decisions, according to the President, Madam Speaker, and all the rest. So now you don't get to make those decisions for yourself anymore. That's fine though, because Washington, in its infinite wisdom, knows better than you do how to spend your money.
And spend they will. If the government's good at anything, it is spending your money. Someone told me that saying the government spends like drunken sailors is an insult to drunken sailors.
Conservative estimates - not you "evil" conservatives, it's just an adjective - price this plan at $1.6 trillion over 10 years, and have it adding $239 billion to the deficit. Of course, 10-year deficit projections were recently revised from $7 trillion to $9 trillion, too. What kind of a legacy is that for our children?
But of course, this plan will do what no health plan has ever done. It will cover more people. It will give better care. And it will cost less. Remember the term "voodoo economics?" Well, there you go. It's not mathematically impossible. We're changing the laws of mathematics! How's that for change?
So what do we want? According to the President, if you're not with him, you're against him. You don't want change. You favor the status quo. You hate poor people. You hate women.
Obviously, that's not true. We want choice. We want competition. And the President's plan won't give us either.
I was always under the impression that defining the problem helps you find the best solution. This health plan we've been given has started with the solution - one-size-fits-all government redistributing your money - and defined the problem for us. But for the sake of argument, let's do it the old-fashioned way.
Who are the uninsured?
June O'Neill put out a great study a few months ago through the Employment Policies Institute that went largely unnoticed by the government because it didn't fit their narrative. Here are some of her findings:
The problem is much smaller than it initially looked. And doesn't require a wholesale restructuring of the U.S. economy. But who am I to let the facts get in the way?
We know there are smaller changes that can be made that would make a huge impact. In his speech on Wednesday, the President acknowledged that we would partially fund his plan through cutting out waste. How about we start there? Let's cut out the waste before we get down to business.
Our big picture principles are affordability, access, quality, innovation, and choice. We want a system that protects the best part of our system while assisting those who truly need help.
The U.S. has been the birthplace of numerous innovative medical treatments that have been used throughout the world, saving countless lives. Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi came to the U.S. for treatment - if Italian health care was so phenomenal, why not patronize a local specialist?
Some strategies for reform:
A more consumer-centered health-care system would not rely on a single form of financing for health-care purchases; it would make use of different sorts of financing for different elements of care-with routine care funded largely out of our incomes; major, predictable expenses (including much end-of-life care) funded by savings and credit; and massive, unpredictable expenses funded by insurance.
Car insurance would cost too much if it paid for oil changes or your new tires, or if it didn't differentiate between good drivers and dangerous ones, and home insurance would be through the roof if it paid for air conditioning and plumber visits. Health insurance needs to return to being health insurance.
We cannot compromise on this bill. The Founders enshrined "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" as our rights in the Declaration of Independence. Making decisions about your health and welfare and that of your loved ones is inextricably linked to those rights. This health care reform plan kicks those rights to the curb.
You should be free to make contractual agreements with others, and you should be able to control your own life choices. Women on the left proudly proclaim "Your body, your choice." Let's hold them to that.