By Kay B. Day
Dr. Parker Griffith represents Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District and the former Democrat legislator is no fan of Obama/Pelosi-care. As a matter of fact, the healthcare boondoggle Democrats are rumored to be so desperate to pass they may use reconciliation is a major reason Griffith crossed Party lines to become a Republican in December. Griffith’s comments as part of the weekly Republican address reflect the impossibility of being a fiscal conservative in today’s Democrat Party.
He said, [T] wo Januarys ago, I was sworn into office as an independent, conservative Democrat. But like so many Americans, I became increasingly concerned that the policies being pushed by Democrats in Washington were dangerous for our country and out of step with our values… Instead of working across the aisle and focusing on creating jobs, Democratic leaders pressed ahead with their partisan, big-government agenda of taxing, spending, and borrowing from our children and grandchildren. The trillion-dollar ‘stimulus,’ the ‘cap-and-trade’ national energy tax, I voted against them.”
Griffith believes whatever comes of the bills being touted as a “healthcare reform” platform will do Americans no favors. “In the next 10 days,” he said, “Democrats in Washington will try and jam through a massive government takeover of health care. It would raise taxes, slash Medicare benefits and destroy American jobs. It would put federal bureaucrats in charge of medical decisions that should be made by patients and doctors. And it must be stopped.”
Griffith reminded the public Americans “have said loudly and clearly that they do not want this job-killing government takeover of care.” He believes voters want legislators to start anew—“with a clean sheet of paper and a step-by-step approach focused on lowering costs for families and small businesses.”
The Republican congressman realizes the disconnect between those at the top of the government and those on Main Street. He said, “[P]resident Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refuse to listen to the American people. For them, health care reform has become less about the best reforms and more about what best fits their ‘Washington knows best’ mentality – less about helping patients and more about scoring political points.”
Driving home his insider status as a former Democrat, Griffith confided, “This is no idle observation. I’ve witnessed it firsthand.”
And like many on Main Street, the doctor-legislator realizes special interests will benefit despite promises made by the president and top legislators.“Even as public opposition continued to rise,” he said, “Democrats refused to let up, stuffing these bills with sweetheart deals for lawmakers and giveaways to Washington special interests.”
Griffith however does believe there is a route to true reform. He said, “Republicans understand that the right way to fix health care is with a step-by-step approach focused on lowering costs. Only Republicans have proposed the kind of health care reforms we can afford during this economic downturn, like allowing small businesses to group together to purchase health care plans at reasonable costs just as unions do…The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that the Republican bill would lower premiums for families and small businesses by up to 10 percent.”
Details on the plan are posted at HealthCare.GOP.gov.
Griffith spent 30 years practicing medicine in North Alabama.
Susan Anne Hiller deconstructs the legislative backdoor for healthcare in a post at Red State, The House Vote on the Senate Healthcare Bill Is the Final Vote; Obama Will Sign It Into Law. A must read.