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What is all the stir about the TEA Party Express?

Across the country, thousands of American citizens are gathering at 35 different cities to be a part of a groundswell of voices expressing their discontent and anger over a health care system that is being systematically promoted as the best option for all America.  The Health Care bill, HR 3200, is over 1000 pages long with 500 more pages of amendments, which will nationalize health care to the cost of trillions of dollars annually. 

Tea Party Express speakers and musical performers in two buses , followed by carloads of supporters, are helping to inform Americans about the details of the bill.  Everyone seems to agree that health care and insurance programs need to be reformed so that all who want coverage can have it, and it is affordable.   The problems with the proposed legislation include having government involved in matters that are beyond its constitutional scope, excessive costs and restrictions for medical care, government interference in many more areas of daily life, and the fact that the plan is being pushed through without listening to the people.  Watch some video coverage of the gathering in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Tea Party Express

The Tea Party Express website gives the schedule and more information about their mission:

The Tea Party Express national bus tour will host a series of tea party rallies all across the nation.  The effort will begin in California and travel eastward, building momentum as the tour reaches its final destination: the big 09.12.09 Taxpayer March on D.C.

At each stop the tour will highlight some of the worst offenders in Congress who have voted for higher spending, higher taxes, and government intervention in the lives of American families and businesses.  These Members of Congress have infringed upon the freedom of the individual in this great nation, and its time for us to say: “Enough is Enough!”

The “Tea Party Express” tour will feature leaders in the anti-tax, conservative, tea party movement along with musical performances of “American Tea Party Anthem” and “A Bailout Song” at each tea party event.

A different plan has been proposed by Congressman John Shadegg from Arizona that addresses the needs in a much  simpler format, leaving the control of health care in hands of the patients and their providers.   HR 3218, The Improving Health Care for All Americans Act, was introduced in Congress on July 14, the same day as HR 3200, and is only 24 pages, with a substantially smaller price tag.

It includes the following features:

  • Employer health care plans can be kept in place by employees if they like them
  • Other options are available for those who want a different plan
  • Those without employer-sponsored plans will get same pre-tax advantage to pay for their own coverage
  • Expanded insurance pools to allow individuals to utilize group buying power
  • Pre-existing and chronic conditions will be covered at affordable rates
  • Keeps the patients and the doctors in control of the health care without the government acting as a controller or intermediary

Health care belongs in the hands of the people, not the government.  HR 3200 is being pushed incredibly hard, and media commentators are stating that  “no one from the Republican side has proposed a bill of their own”.  Even though Representative Shadegg’s bill has been available the same time as HR 3200, it is nearly impossible to find information about it.  Could that mean that alterantive plans are not allowed on the discussion table?

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