Rep. Shea-Porter Finally Faces Her Constituents...Sort Of

Representative Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-1)finally worked up the courage to actually face her constituents in two town hall meetings today. (Earlier 'town hall meetings' she held were actually teleconferences with AARP members where other members of the public were not invited.)

Shea-Porter's town hall meeting in Manchester today might have better been called by what it really was: a town room meeting. The meeting was limited to only 100 people, leaving most of those wishing to question their representative to the House left out. Despite the limited number of people allowed in to the meeting, Shea-Porter did not escape unscathed, with more than one attendee calling her on her support for health care reform many believe is seriously flawed.

In her second town hall meeting held in the seacoast city of Portsmouth, attendees there continued to question the wisdom of the health care reform as laid out by President Obama.

In Portsmouth, the demonstrations were much more subdued, but the questions were no less contentious.

"How can you look me in the eye or anyone else and tell me health care won't be rationed?" one questioner asked.

Shea-Porter said there is a lot of misinformation still being spread about the bill, and she said the bill will reduce costs, but some weren't buying it.

"They'll increase the cost of anyone who's not going to be highly subsidized by that bill," one questioner said.

Shea-Porter said health care reform comes down to fairness and responsibility, but audience reaction was split with boos and cheers, indicating that many are not convinced.

In all my years I have never seen one single government-run program that has managed to reduce costs for more than a quarter or two. Government, by its very nature, is incapable of being more efficient than the private sector. The incentives to keep costs under control don't exist because the government doesn't have to worry about losing 'customers' or going out of business should they fail to provide the services they're supposed to deliver. The bureaucracy that runs the program expands until it is incapable of delivering cost effective service, mainly due to bureaucratic inertia, contradictory rules and regulations, and sometimes, political infighting. To think they can reduce health care costs is ludicrous on the face of it.

Shea-Porter's contention that reform “ comes down to fairness and responsibility” rings hollow with me. If “fairness' is defined as destroying the health care system of over 85% of Americans in favor of covering the 15% that aren't covered by insurance, then I'm against it. Again, she and many other Democrats see health care as a zero-sum game, meaning that in order to provide it to the underserved they must take it away from those already covered. Instead they should be looking at ways to see those lacking health insurance to be covered, either by removing the restrictive laws and regulations that limit choice of insurers by the public, allowing even more competition (which always brings down prices), or changing how health insurance covers medical care (do away with the top to bottom coverage and limit it to catastrophic and chronic care).

The big problem is that Congressional Democrats are unable to see their form of health care reform has been tried before and has failed miserably. But that won't stop them from trying it again...with the same results.

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