Americans Don’t Want More Government Control of Health Care

I have an oped in today’s Washington Examiner in which I discuss how Americans don’t want more government control of health care. Here’s a portion:

Heath care is an issue that has garnered a lot of discussion recently; however, much of that discussion has been centered on government playing a larger role. The plans the Democrats are offering have one thing in common: universal health care requiring a lot of government control. But do Americans want a universal health care system?

Back in 1993, Hillary Clinton learned the hard way that the answer was no. When Americans read the details of Hillary’s plan, they didn’t want any part of it. The backlash to HillaryCare was so strong that it contributed to the Republican’s 1994 takeover of the House of Representatives.

After the American people overwhelmingly rejected Hillary’s plan, she was forced to retool. The result was the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan, or SCHIP, a government run and funded universal health care system for poor kids. Now the plan is up for renewal, and Senator Clinton wants to triple spending, making children in a family of four living at 400 percent of the poverty level, approximately $82,000 a year, eligible. And should she be elected, it’s not unreasonable to expect that she would try to expand SCHIP even further.

With Hillary now proposing to massively increase the number of people eligible for SCHIP, the government will be hard pressed to find ways to fund it. Right now, cigarette taxes pay the bulk of the funding, but the high taxes on cigarettes are driving down cigarette sales, which is driving down the funding for SCHIP. Where are our government bureaucrats going now to get funding? A cigar tax:

Eric Newman punches the numbers on his calculator and gapes at the results one more time.

It’s no mathematical error: The federal government has proposed raising taxes on premium cigars, the kind Newman’s family has been rolling for decades in Ybor City, by as much as 20,000 percent.

As part of an increase in tobacco taxes designed to pay for children’s health insurance, the nickel-per-cigar tax that has ruled the industry could rise to as much as $10 per cigar.

“I’m not sure in the history of man, since our forefathers founded the country in 1776, that there’s ever been a tax increase of 20,000 percent,” said Newman, who runs the Tampa business founded by grandfather Julius Caesar Newman. “They had the Boston Tea Party for less than this.”

Granted, cigar sales are nothing compared to cigarette sales, but if this tax goes through, the cigar sales in this country will effectively die, as will the new funding for SCHIP. Where will SCHIP get funding after that happens? A fast food tax? What about a luxury restaurant tax? So goes the funding of a government run health care system: the process of implementing taxes in order to fund SCHIP, especially if Hillary gets her way and expands the program, will be a never ending process because, as government bureaucrats don’t seem to understand, when products and activities are taxed, we get less of those products and activities and less funding. Remember, as it’s been said in the past, the right to tax is the right to destroy.

Signs of Progress