Group Urges Closer Scrutiny of Obama’s $634 Billion Health Care Plan

By Melanie Hunter-Omar | March 27, 2009 | 6:27 PM EDT

( – A group founded by health care entrepreneur Rick Scott has launched an ad campaign calling on taxpayers to demand Congress not approve the $634 billion health care plan without knowing more about it.
Scott, who is chairman of the Conservatives for Patients’ Rights Action Fund and chairman of Solantic, a chain of urgent care centers in Florida, said the president did not provide specifics like how the money would be spent.
“After the embarrassment of the AIG bonus scandal, these same people are now talking about ramming a $634 billion health care plan through Congress, and we still don't have any details," Scott said in a statement.
“It makes no sense. Congress is being asked to appropriate $634 billion for a plan neither it nor the public has seen. We are talking here about changing health care for every American with no debate. It should not be fast-tracked, the American people have the right to read the President's plan before our representatives are asked to appropriate over $600 billion of our hard earned money,” Scott said.
“This is the same expedited process that took place with the stimulus plan, that lead to the surprises over the AIG bonuses. I say no more surprises! Congress should slow down and reject the $634 billion in health care spending until they have seen the details,” he added.
President Barack Obama plans to pay for the plan, which he considers to be a “down payment on health care reform,” through tax increases and payments from insurers, hospitals, doctors and drug manufacturers.
The Conservatives for Patients’ Rights Action Fund believes in four pillars of free market health care reform: choice, competition, accountability, and personal responsibility.
With choice, consumers would have the right to choose their doctor and health plan. With competition, as long as people have all the information – prices, outcomes, results – they will be able to shop and compare, which would drive down the cost of health care, Scott said.
Scott noted that 45 percent of the uninsured are without insurance because they are in between jobs for a period on average of about four months. If individuals were given the same tax breaks as employers, “more people would buy their own insurance plan, which would be beneficial,” he said.
Also, it comes down to personal responsibility, and if people had the right lifestyle, ate the right foods, exercised and didn’t smoke, it would drive down the costs of health care and dramatically reduce the need for health care, Scott said.
The Conservatives for Patients’ Rights Action Fund released the results of a poll conducted March 18-22 among 1,200 registered voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percent, which showed 60 percent of respondents thought Congress should not pass the president’s health care budget without specific details of how the money will be spent.
Compare that to 36 percent who said Congress should pass the president’s health care budget because health care reform is necessary and the president had provide enough of an outline to move forward.