A few well-informed citizens asking the right questions can change the whole tenor of a meeting. Here are a couple of key questions every congressman should be compelled to answer at their “town hall” meetings out in the districts:
1. Constitutional Authority: The federal government under the U.S. Constitution is one of specifically delegated and enumerated powers, not a government where Congress has the power to do whatever it thinks is in the public interest. Where, specifically, in the U.S. Constitution that you swore an oath to “support and defend” is Congress authorized to legislate on healthcare? And, does your oath to “support and defend” the U.S. Constitution matter to you?
2. "Breaking" the Budget: President Obama has stated categorically that following the economic status quo on healthcare — the constant increases in the cost of Medicare and Medicaid reaching far into the future — means we will soon “break” the federal budget. But he also says he plans to spend every penny of the savings from Medicare and Medicaid reform on his universal healthcare plan. Isn't this also a plan to continue the status quo? Wouldn't this plan — which would spend at least the same amount on health care — also “break” the federal budget? And does that matter to you?
3. Cutting Consumer Costs/Increasing Deficit: President Obama has publicly stated that he will only sign a healthcare package if it cuts consumer healthcare costs and doesn't contribute to a federal budget deficit. Yet the Congressional Budget Office analyzed the three healthcare packages Congress is currently considering and concluded that all three would increase the deficit hundreds of billions of dollars over 10 years and increase healthcare spending between $800 billion and over $1 trillion. How can you support a bill that would increase consumer healthcare costs through taxation and debt, increase federal controls over healthcare, and increase our deficit when even President Obama claims to oppose proposals of this nature?