Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

   Senator Doug Whitsett
R- Klamath Falls, District 28

Phone: 503-986-1728    900 Court St. NE, S-302, Salem Oregon 97301
Email: sen.dougwhitsett@state.or.us     Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/whitsett


     Gail and I have been more encouraged during the past few weeks, by the awakening of the American silent majority, than we have been at any time during my five years in the Oregon Senate. We strongly encourage all voters to become more involved, to become better informed, and to demand critical reasoning and direct answers from your elected officials.  No elected representative of the people can please every voter with every vote. But every elected official should be able, and willing, to explain the reasoning behind every vote to any constituent who asks.


     Former United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said that “The problem with socialism is that eventually, you run out of other peoples’ money”. Oregon’s quarter century of liberal political leadership is proving her words to be prophetic. During those 25 years, our state budget has increased five fold. The total increase is well more than five hundred percent, from ten billion, to more than fifty five billion dollars. Our current budget will spend more than $14,000 for every man, women and child in Oregon.
     Throughout that ever escalating spending binge, where the increase averaged a compounded thirteen percent, our State has consistently been a national leader in unemployment, poverty and hunger. More than one out of every six Oregonians is now using food stamps to feed their families.


     According to the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, Oregon has the nation’s highest percentage of underutilized workers in the nation. Underutilized workers include those who are unemployed, those who have had their hours reduced, those who were formerly self employed, and those who are no longer actively looking for work. Oregon’s underutilized work force has averaged nearly 24% for the past six months.
     The rate of job loss is unprecedented since the Great Depression, going from 11.3% to 24% in a single year. Nearly one in four work-ready Oregonians cannot find sufficient work to maintain a household.
     The July employment report shows that total unemployment may be stabilizing at these egregious levels. However, manufacturing and construction employment declined by another five thousand jobs while government and education jobs increased by about five thousand jobs. This continuing trend of trading high paying private sector jobs for high paying jobs supported by tax revenue is not sustainable.


     The Center for Market Studies also points out that more than 50% of the jobs that have been lost in Oregon are permanent. These jobs are never coming back. The preponderance of these permanently lost jobs are family wage natural resource, construction and manufacturing jobs.
     Clearly, liberal policies have lead Oregon into an abyss of unemployment and poverty. Multiple peer reviewed economic studies have shown that about two private sector jobs are lost for every government subsidized green job created. Other studies demonstrate that, on average, about two private sector jobs are lost for every new government job created. That job loss is caused by the increased job killing taxation on the private sector that is required to raise the revenue to compensate additional public employees. Equally important is the increased job killing regulations imposed on the private sector that are implemented by these new public employees.


     Yet Oregon policy makers continue to escalate the subsidies on renewable energy green jobs. They continue to grow our state government workforce at an unprecedented rate. Oregon will add more than 1,500 new public employees to the state payroll during this budget cycle. During July, the government, education, and health care sectors grew by about 5,000 jobs while the construction and manufacturing sectors shrank by about 5,000 jobs. The policy makers continue to heap on new environmental, consumer protection, and labor relations restrictions to an already intolerable regulatory scheme.
     The measurable results are one in four work-force ready Oregonians out of work, and one in six Oregonians on food stamps.


     The national debate on intrusive and unaffordable health care and carbon cap and trade issues has certainly awakened the public. However, Oregon has already enacted many of these onerous proposals.
     For instance, the card check system for unionizing a business without a vote is already a part of Oregon statutes. Your supermajority democrat dominated legislature has already passed numerous laws that restrict and regulate the emission of green house gases, and that mandate the use of expensive renewable energy resulting in significantly higher energy costs. And Oregon is well on its way to establishing its own single payer form of socialized medicine and wealth redistribution.


     We believe that it is time for Oregonians to focus their attention on the fiscal policies that are destroying our own State’s economic future .A good place to begin is to sign each of the four tax referral petitions, and then vote to rollback the two billion dollars in job killing taxes and fees levied by your Oregon Legislature during the 2009 session.


     Recent polling indicates that as many as eighty percent of Americans appear to be satisfied with the quality of their health care services. Their real concerns are for accessibility, portability and affordability. None of these concerns appears to be addressed by the Obama Health Care Plan.
     The main problem with the Obama Health Care plan is that it does not address the primary causes of escalating medical care costs. In fact, its provisions will perpetuate, and amplify those cost drivers.


     In our free market economy, competition drives innovation and cost efficiency. The Obama plan will virtually eliminate competition in both insurance rates and in quality of care. The plan will prevent cost comparison, or price negotiation, at the point of health care delivery. In third party pay systems, price negotiations occur between the health care providers, and third party payers, both before and after the health care service are delivered. The physician and the patient have virtually no input in deciding cost. In fact, in most cases neither the doctor nor the patient has any idea of what the procedure will cost until after the administrative negotiations have occurred.
     Administrative costs now represent about one third of the entire cost of medical care delivery. Non-emergency price negotiation at the point of medical care delivery would eliminate most of that cost of unnecessary third party negotiations.  Establishing Health Savings Accounts or Medical Investment Retirement Accounts would provide the care recipient to negotiate for the most appropriate and affordable health care procedures. Further, price negotiation would create competition that always results in better service and lower costs in a free market environment.
     The Obama Plan does call for a national system of electronic records that would save many lives and significantly reduce costs. Rather than creating yet another government bureaucracy, this system should be incentivized to be further developed in the private sector. Several pharmacy chains have already developed this capability in the free market because it is proven to reduce costs and provide better and safer service.
     If properly implemented, the system could alert pharmacists and physicians to preexisting conditions that would contraindicate certain prescriptions and procedures, and greatly aid in accurate diagnoses and treatments. It could virtually eliminate the danger of unknowingly prescribing a medication that could have a
dangerous, or even lethal, effect in combination with another prescription or existing condition.


     The Obama Plan provides for no ability for the consumer to choose services based on cost and affordability. It does not give the patient and the health care provider the authority to decide what procedures are needed to make a diagnosis. Diagnostic procedures and appropriate treatments should be decided by the patient and their physician, rather than a third party negotiator. 
     The public option provision of the plan, or the alternative co-op design, will create a single payer government health care provider monopoly. All monopolies have certain characteristics including high costs, poor service, lack of innovation, and a morbid fear of competition. This plan to monopolize medical care delivery will be no different.
     National single payer health care systems in Canada, the United Kingdom, and other countries, have clearly demonstrated how a gargantuan government medical care monopoly promotes those characteristics. We should learn from their misfortune. The certain result of government mandated health care will be higher costs, poorer service, and the loss of incentives for innovation and new treatment development. Once established, it will be nearly impossible to rectify.


     The Obama plan fails to address critically needed medical liability reforms. No provisions exist in the plan for capping non-economic damage awards, limiting contingency fees, preventing venue shopping for empathetic judges, limiting joint and several liability, or penalizing those who initiate frivolous tort claims.
Without significant tort reform, the current liability “open season” on medical professionals will continue to drive their medical liability insurance premiums to unaffordable levels. Rural practitioners are hardest hit because they generally provide a wider array of services that must be insured. These insurance premium costs must ultimately be passed on to the public as part of the medical professionals’ cost of doing business.
     Moreover, current medical liability laws force medical professionals to practice defensive medicine in order to maintain their insurance polices, as well as to maintain their professional reputations in our litigious society. A preponderance of the defensive tests and procedures that are required to maintain the liability insurance are often neither medically necessary nor useful. However, they are very expensive, and they do drive up the cost of health care delivery by as much as twenty percent while providing very little health benefit.


     Government imposed health insurance mandates have already increased the cost of health insurance premiums by as much as forty percent. The Obama Plan essentially mandates that every resident will receive all possible health care services. The cost of providing quality free heath care service for every person living in the United States cannot be sustained. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is waving red flags at every step of the legislative process.
     They are warning that the Obama Health Care plan will be the most expensive entitlement in U.S. history. They warn that the cost savings that the administration is counting on to pay for the plan simply will not, and cannot materialize. They are counseling that other entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Prescription Drug Benefits are currently underfunded and are rapidly progressing toward insolvency. In short, these folks who are paid to look after the public purse, are telling anyone who will listen that the Obama Plan is unaffordable. In fact, they calculate that the cost will be in the trillions of dollars. Congress does not appear to be listening. The people should be listening carefully


     In my opinion, the Obama Plan will require access to health care to be rationed in order to make it affordable. The plan appears to target those sixty five years of age and older for limited access. As we grow older and contribute less to the economic well being of our society we will be entitled to less rigorous medical care. Those who need the services most will receive the least care. The oxymoron is that we are being asked to believe that the only way to provide complete, mandated health care for everyone is to ration access to that medical care.  Rationed care cannot be complete care.


     The U.S health care industry represents about sixteen percent, or about one sixth, of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.  We should be aware that in only the past few months our federal government has made huge investments in acquiring partial ownership of the banking, insurance, auto and mortgage lending industries. For instance, the federal government now owns more than sixty percent of General Motors, twenty percent of Citigroup and AIG and eight percent of Chrysler. “The people” have acquired ownership of the preponderance of all home loan mortgages by nationalizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These two government-owned giants now own most of the home equity in all of the mortgaged “privately owned” homes in America. We may expect a similar public acquisition of commercial real estate as the escalation of commercial real estate mortgage loan defaults continues.
     We are continuously assured that these are only temporary investments until the economy recovers and the industries are able to buy back their debt. Yet two bills introduced in Congress to accelerate that private sector buy back have died on partisan votes. The government has refused to allow banks to buy back the preferred stock issued to the government in exchange for TARP money. Nothing in the Obama Health Care plan suggests that the plan is meant to be temporary.
     We should recognize the Obama Health Care Plan as an inefficient, unaffordable, and unsustainable attempt to socialize health care in the United States.  It is time to just say no.
     If not now, then when?

If we do not stand up for rural Oregon, no one will!

Best regards,

The video news clip below puts an exclamation point on the fiscal irresponsibility of the current administration. Even those being paid to oversee the disbursement of public funds have no idea of either how much is being spent or where the funds are being spent.


Update your subscriptions, modify your password or e-mail address, or stop subscriptions at any time on your User Profile Page. You will need to use your e-mail address to log in. If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please contact support@govdelivery.com.
Home Contact


              Page Updated: Saturday August 29, 2009 02:19 AM  Pacific

             Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2009, All Rights Reserved