The answer to this question is obvious: of course not. No one in his or her right mind, no one who has even vaguely tuned in to what’s been going on in Washington for… oh, the last 50 years of so… would think that a bunch of politicians would craft a bill, let alone a bill of nearly 2,000 pages, that would efficiently use taxpayer money. Indeed, IWF’s latest poll found that overwhelmingly women felt that government spends money mostly inefficiently.
For those few holdouts who somehow believe that Washington is a good steward of resources, check out some highlights in this Wall Street Journal oped. In addition to detailing the incredibly intrusive, expansive, and often vaguely defined power grab contained within, Betsy McCaughey points out a few examples of how Congress plans to throw around taxpayer dollars for activities that are at best tangentially related to providing health care:
• Sec. 399V (p. 1422) provides for grants to community “entities” with no required qualifications except having “documented community activity and experience with community healthcare workers” to “educate, guide, and provide experiential learning opportunities” aimed at drug abuse, poor nutrition, smoking and obesity. “Each community health worker program receiving funds under the grant will provide services in the cultural context most appropriate for the individual served by the program.”
These programs will “enhance the capacity of individuals to utilize health services and health related social services under Federal, State and local programs by assisting individuals in establishing eligibility . . . and in receiving services and other benefits” including transportation and translation services.
• Sec. 222 (p. 617) provides reimbursement for culturally and linguistically appropriate services. This program will train health-care workers to inform Medicare beneficiaries of their “right” to have an interpreter at all times and with no co-pays for language services.
More than 10 percent of Americans are currently unemployed. Our federal government is facing trillion dollar deficits for years on end. Is this really the best way to spend taxpayer money right now? In fact, what in Congress doing spending all of it’s time pushing a massive, trillion dollar expansion of health care when we are in the midst of the biggest spike in unemployment in decades? The American people care about jobs — and this bill would be a job killer.
Washington’s always been a bit of a bubble, but the American people are right to think that Members of Congress have completely lost touch with the outside world.