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Open Letter to President Obama: "something fishy about government-run healthcare" (email to

By Steve Beren, August 5, 2009

FROM: Steve Beren, Seattle WA
Video of Steve Beren speech to Seattle Tax Day Tea Party

TO: President Barack Obama, Washington DC
SUBJECT: something fishy about government-run healthcare

I'm strongly committed to constitutional principles, limited government, and defending liberty. The current effort of your administration to push through government-run healthcare is a serious challenge to our freedom.

You falsely paint the issue as "for healthcare" or "against." Actually, government-run healthcare harms the American people - increased costs, more delay and bureaucracy, rationing of care, decreased quality, higher taxes, less liberty, more government control over our lives. Any congressman or Senator who votes for your government-run healthcare plan is voting AGAINST HEALTHCARE.

You also falsely argue that your government-run healthcare plan would "give" Americans the "right" to healthcare. This is not true and not accurate - a right is not something "given" to us by government; it is something that CANNOT BE TAKEN AWAY BY GOVERNMENT (without due process). Your socialized medicine plan would RESTRICT our liberty, increase government control over our lives, limit our choices, and contradict some already-existing rights.

We have the right to free speech and the right to bear arms. But the government does not buy radio time for us, and it does not subsidize our purchases of weapons. We have the right to property - and as long as we harm nobody else and break no laws, we can do as we please with our own property, income, savings, and other resources/assets. (The rights are not properly restricted by government except, as noted above, with due process.)

Your proposed government takeover of healthcare would interfere with this last-mentioned right, and it would reduce our liberty and freedom. Instead of being able to use our resources as we see fit - purchase healthcare or not; pay for experimental/risky procedures or not; make our own decisions about the pros and cons of dangerous/costly treatments, we (both patients and doctors) would be SUBJECT TO ARBITRARY GOVERNMENT RESTRICTIONS. That's why your socialized medicine plan does not equal a "right to healthcare." It actually decreases our existing rights.

As I look ahead to 2010, I note the growing opposition to the Obama economic agenda - including government-run healthcare. I'm deeply involved in the Tea Party movement, and have endorsed the September 12 National Taxpayers' Tea Party March on Washington, D.C., which will be a massive citizen outcry against socialized medicine, cap and trade, wasteful government spending, higher taxes, and restrictions on liberty. The March on Washington will be a powerful message to you, Mr. President, and to congressmen and senators thinking of voting for your plan for a government takeover of healthcare.

Government-run health care would be a disaster. It would lead to a massive tax increase, with nothing to show for it. In fact, government-run health care would actually have negative effects.

It would increase bureaucracy and delays, it would drive up costs, and it would decrease the quality of care. It would drive some of the best medical professionals out of the field, and it would discourage talented young people from entering the field in the first place. Perhaps most of all, it would lead to a reduction in services offered. The resulting rationing of health care services would have devastating effects, especially on the poor, the elderly, and the disabled.

Yet you favor government-run health care over reliance on free market solutions. But the last thing we need is to follow the European path of government interference, bureaucracy, and massive taxation.

The priority in health care reform is putting individuals in more direct contact with providers, reducing the role of insurance companies, government regulators, employers, and attorneys. The current system, with heavy government and middleman involvement, is bureaucratic, inefficient, and a primary cause of rising health care costs. We need healthcare reform - but your healthcare plan points in the wrong direction. We need LESS government involvement, not more.

There should be increased competition among health insurance carriers to provide consumers more options and more variation in benefit plans. This will lead to coverage that is less expensive, based on individual need, and with more choices and options for the health care consumers.

The medical expense tax deduction should be greatly increased, and all drug purchases and insurance premiums should be fully tax-deductible. Eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts should be greatly expanded. Consumers should be allowed to buy health insurance across state lines. Congress should pass tort reform to restrict excessive awards (including punitive damage awards) and to eliminate frivolous lawsuits.

We should eliminate federal income taxes for everybody making less than $25,000 a year, and we should greatly reduce taxes for everybody else. This could be done, for example, by raising the personal exemption to $25,000 for each individual family member ($100,000 for a family of four).

Limited government leads to lower taxes, which is better for families and property owners. With lower taxes, liberty is increased because individuals and families have more of their own money - increased take-home pay - for their needs: health insurance, food, clothing, housing, education, and retirement.

When people are able to provide for themselves, they are more likely to achieve prosperity and less dependent on government programs. In turn, this leads to further reduction in government spending, allowing the remaining money to be narrowly targeted to legitimate constitutional functions of government.

Steve Beren
Seattle, Washington

Video of Steve Beren speech to Seattle Tax Day Tea Party



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