When President Obama was campaigning for President he made a solemn pledge he would eliminate or reduce earmarks. He broke that promise during the push to implement the new healthcare program.
The White House cut backroom deals with a number of senators to secure their votes for the bill. Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska received $100 million in federal funds for a rip off which exempted his state from paying for new Medicaid patients. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana got a kickback of $300 million in extra federal spending for her state.
The healthcare bill will add $1 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years, and the Medicare system will suffer cuts of $500 billion. Approximately 30 million people will be added to the healthcare system. This will place a severe strain on hospitals and doctors who will not be able to handle the huge influx of new patients. The end result will be long waiting periods and lower quality service for all.
A particular concern is the impact of the program on small businesses, which will be forced to provide health insurance to their employees. This program could force many small businesses to raise prices and/or reduce costs (primarily labor costs), and some businesses will be forced to close their doors. It should be noted small businesses account for about 70% of the jobs in this country.
It is unfortunate the White House had to resort to pork barrel chicanery to get a highly flawed healthcare bill passed.
Donald A. Moskowitz, Londonderry, NH