Republican Perspective

March 26, 2020

A friend shared an interesting online post with me over the weekend. It read “If COVID-19 forces Planned Parenthood to be closed for two weeks, the virus will have saved more lives than it has taken.”
This is based on a current abortion rate in the U.S. of about 10,000 per week. This is not making light of the tragedy this pandemic is becoming in our nation, but rather emphasizing a dark issue in our society.

I have stated before that I recognize abortion as a legitimate medical procedure for certain circumstances, such as when the life of the mother is in danger. However, when we forfeit one life for the convenience of another, then I believe we have gone to far.

I read an interesting syndicated piece in a newspaper 20 years ago. The first frame showed a man kneeling to pray, and he said “Oh, God, what pestilence we have in our society. Cancer, heart disease, famine. Why haven’t you sent someone to cure these things?”

The second frame had God’s answer. “I did. You aborted them.” Perhaps one of those lives taken in the early 90s would have had the solution to today’s crisis. We will never know, but we can change the future.

It is looking like the due date too late abortion restriction resolution filed as Initiative 120 has a good chance of making the ballot for November. While many of us would like to see an even stricter law, this is a good step in that direction. That unborn child should have the same right to choose as every other citizen of our country.

While talking about health care, let’s review Senator Sanders’ Medicare-for-all as an example of misleading advertising.

He is often quoted as saying this will actually save the country billions of dollars each year. That statement is based on flawed assumptions and faulty math. In the first place, he is assuming that no one will seek more health care than they currently are today.

However, we all know that if we have to pay up front for something, we think twice about doing it. When I have the sniffles my first choice is to do an over-the-counter remedy from a local store as opposed to paying a co-pay to go see my physician in the office.

That’s for a family with pretty good insurance coverage. Now think about the number of families that have no coverage. Once they have free access, they are going to be consuming a much larger chunk of the medical resources out there. That will create an increased demand, which then drives up prices or lowers service levels for everyone else.

As for the cost of the plan, Sanders is estimating $30 trillion over a decade. The Urban Institute, which is a left-leaning think tank, puts that estimate at closer to $34 trillion without including the new long-term care entitlement, which Sanders conveniently doesn’t mention. If that is included, the price jumps to $46 trillion for the first 10 years.

His idea to pay for this is a new 4 percent income tax on households making more than $29,000, and additional 7.5 percent payroll tax (think doubling your current social security withholding from your check), and a new corporate tax rate of 35 percent.

I doubt my company is going to graciously hand over that 7.5 percent out of the goodness of their corporate heart. It will come either from my current earnings, from which I’m already losing that new 4 percent, or from reduced future gains in my income. And if they have to pay a higher corporate rate, they have less money in the pool for expansion and new hires.

These are new taxes that would directly hit the middle and lower classes. He has proposed additional tax burdens on the wealthy and on capital gains (your 401K or IRA). This doesn’t sound like free medical care for all to me. To top it off, if all of these proposals are enacted, it is estimated they would generate just $17.5 trillion dollars.

That’s not even half of the estimated bill. In addition, this would mean all doctors and medical facilities would be reimbursed at existing Medicare rates, which are not enough to cover actual expenses. If doctors are forced to take pay cuts, fewer young people will enter the field in the coming years.

With his expected increase in life expectancy because of care for all and a lower number of medical school graduates, what will our medical care look like in 10 years? How long will you have to wait to be seen in an emergency room?

I’ll close by putting in my plug for the current social distancing. Many of us are very healthy, but we must remember not all of our neighbors are. If we all do our part in staying home for the short term, and only purchasing what we need for the next month, we can all get through this. Let’s tackle this together as Americans have done in past crises.

Tim Peterson
Park County Republican Chair