President Obama slipped when he quipped recently that Congress is “on the precipice” of healthcare overhaul. The dictionary defines precipice as “a very steep or overhanging place; a hazardous situation; brink.”
“Precipice” is exactly how Americans view the prospect of radical healthcare overhaul, according to USA Today / Gallup polling. Anyone who’s visited a government department of motor vehicles can imagine how government-directed healthcare decisions—which would occur under current legislation with or without the “public option”—will result in the delay and denial of their own health care.
Empowering the President’s cabinet members and other partisan bureaucrats to make sweeping decisions about what medical treatments and medicines to permit for all Americans dangerously injects the government into the exam room and the physician-patient relationship. The intrusive legislation would even forbid senior citizens to use their own money to avoid involuntary denial of medical treatment under Medicare. That is, until the overhaul bankrupts Medicare.
Americans also oppose moral minefields in the legislation such as government funding of abortion and the absence of broad conscience rights for healthcare professionals, which threatens to eliminate healthcare access for poor patients by driving life-affirming physicians, hospitals and clinics out of medicine.
If anyone in Congress is still listening to the American people who are hanging on for dear life, please rescue us from this precipice.