Phyllis Schlafly

ALTON, Ill. (Legal Newsline)-Most Democrats' prescription for what ails the nation's health care system would translate into higher taxes and higher national debt, a leading conservative figure said.

The health care overhaul endorsed by President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., would strip many patients' choices and access to treatments, said Eagle Forum President and Founder Phyllis Schlafly.

"Passage of the bill she supports would put us forever on the road to trillions of dollars in debt, bankruptcy, and European mistakes; defeat of the bill will safeguard the unique American recipe for liberty and prosperity," she said in a recent column.

One of the many factors standing in the way to a meaningful health care overhaul is Democrats' unwillingness to offend the nation's trial lawyers, who are among their largest political contributors.

"We should enact tort reform so that doctors won't be chased out of practice by ruinous lawsuits and over-the-top malpractice insurance rates," Schlafly said. "The Democrats won't do this because the trial lawyers are their biggest source of campaign contributions."

Schlafly called on Congress to also give individually owned health insurance the same tax deduction that has been enjoyed for decades by employer-provided health insurance.

"This is a matter of fairness; where are the equal-protection litigators when we need them?" she said. "The Democrats are toying with going in the opposite direction: eliminating the tax deduction for employer-based plans. That translates into a big tax increase for the middle class."

Additionally, she said lawmakers should overturn state laws that bar insurance companies from competing across state lines. She also took aim at government mandates.

"Insurance mandates are how the Democrats expect to control the health-care industry if they can't round up the votes to impose the 'public option,'" she said.

A recent study by the Washington-based Heritage Foundation found that the White House-backed health care plan will cost employers at least $49 billion dollars a year and could put more than 5 million jobs at risk.

"The prospect of fewer job opportunities in the future will put another 10.2 million workers at risk of slower wage growth and cuts in other benefits," the Heritage report by D. Mark Wilson said.

"Up to 382,000 low-wage unskilled workers are likely to lose their jobs. Further, some of the cost of the mandates will be passed on to American consumers in higher prices for goods and services--an indirect tax on savers and those with fixed incomes," the study found.

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