I am writing in response to Alfredo Acuña Garcia Jr.’s letter in the Jan. 26 issue of the Bee-Picayune regarding the misleading information in the article “Hinojosa opposes GOP’s repeal of health care act,” published in the Jan. 22 paper. Mr. Garcia is correct; the information in that article is misleading.
Some of the statistics quoted in Rep. Hinojosa’s press release are correct. Approximately one-third of the residents in District 15 are uninsured. For some, not buying health insurance is a choice they have made. It is simply not a priority for them. Under Obamacare, many will be forced to buy health plans that include costly and unnecessary coverage and even services they may find morally reprehensible. Those not buying a health plan will be subject to a fine; it will no longer be a choice. Rep. Hinojosa stated, “This repeal will take away freedom and control over our citizens’ health care choices.” This is a true statement, but taken in the context of his press release, one gets the impression the freedom will be taken from the citizen. In reality, the repeal will take the freedom of the heath care choices from the government and return it to the citizen.
Supporters claim that Obamacare will expand options, but more than half of the uninsured gaining coverage will be herded into Medicaid, an unsustainable government program. In fiscal year 2009, 25 percent ($24.5 billion) of the state budget was spent on Medicaid. Many who now have insurance through their employer will lose that coverage. Much of this comes from economic incentives that will drive employers to dump their workers into heavily subsidized plans that are part of the federally mandated heath insurance exchanges. Many others will lose both their health insurance and their jobs due to rising premiums. Nothing is free, i.e., free preventive care. Someone somewhere is paying for it.
To me, the real absurdity of Hinojosa’s press release is how his number one priority for the 112th Congress is creating jobs. The unemployment rate has been above 9 percent since May 2009, and reached a high of 10.1 percent in October 2009. Where was his priority then? It was on passing Cap and Trade — a bill that “would necessarily cause electricity rates to skyrocket,” a bill that would push the cost of gasoline to seven or eight dollars a gallon. He wasn’t too concerned with what his constituents could afford then. The consequences of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been the loss of thousands of private sector jobs across the country as health insurance costs have increased. Of course, Obamacare is creating 16,000 IRS jobs.
The 112th Congress cannot create jobs that will improve our economy; those jobs must come from the private sector. What they can do is provide a stable environment in which businesses can plan and budget. The government’s irrational spending spree must stop and the size of government be reduced substantially if we are to survive as a free republic.
Most of the information cited in my letter comes from the Heritage Foundation and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.