The American people will pay an additional one trillion dollars in taxes over ten years than they otherwise would have paid to finance the Democrats’ takeover of health care. That is a brutal fact.
When the Democrats say their bill is “deficit neutral” what they mean is that they made drastic cuts in the Medicare budget and drastic increases in our taxes in order to create the illusion that it was deficit neutral.
Here’s some more brutal facts that your mainstream media will not tell you about regarding health care.
With Obamacare, you get the good, the bad, and the ugly — except for the first part.
The Congressional Budget Office’s score is in for the final Senate health bill, and it’s amazing how little Americans would get for so much.
The Democrats are irresponsibly and disingenuously claiming that the bill would cost $871 billion over 10 years. But that’s not what the CBO says. Rather, the CBO says that $871 billion would be the costs from 2010 to 2019 for expansions in insurance coverage alone. But less than 2 percent of those “10-year costs” would kick in before the fifth year of that span. In its real first 10 years (2014 to 2023), the CBO says that the bill would cost $1.8 trillion — for insurance coverage expansions alone. Other parts of the bill would cost approximately $700 billion more, bringing the bill’s full 10-year tab to approximately $2.5 trillion — according to the CBO.
In those real first 10 years (2014 to 2023), Americans would have to pay over $1 trillion in additional taxes, over $1 trillion would be siphoned out of Medicare (over $200 billion out of Medicare Advantage alone) and spent on Obamacare, and deficits would rise by over $200 billion . They would rise, that is, unless Congress follows through on the bill’s pledge to cut doctors’ payments under Medicare by 21 percent next year and never raise them back up — which would reduce doctors’ enthusiasm for seeing Medicare patients dramatically.
And what would Americans get in return for this staggering sum? Well, the CBO says that health care premiums would rise, and the Chief Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says that the percentage of the Gross Domestic Product spent on health care would rise from 17 percent today to 21 percent by the end of 2019. Nationwide health care costs would be $234 billion higher than under current law. How’s that for “reform”?
Even MoveOn.org says that the bill is “a massive giveaway” to private insurance companies. The CBO estimates that, from 2015-25, private insurers would receive $1.0 trillion in subsidies from the American taxpayer — the insurers’ apparent price for giving up their freedom and being controlled by the government. Congress would mandate that Americans buy the insurers’ product and would redirect massive sums of taxpayer money to make that mandate more feasible. So, if insurance companies are your idea of a worthy object of philanthropy, then Obamacare is for you.
And this is the bill that Ben Nelson has decided to support?
One hopes that Nebraska voters — and all other voters in other states who have sent Democrats to Washington — are making a list and checking it twice, keeping track of votes on Obamacare.
As Harry Reid keeps senators in session rather than letting them go home to be with their families and celebrate Christmas, it’s important to remember that this bill would not go into effect in any meaningful way until more than an Olympiad from now. Thus, it is the American voters — and not the current Democratic Congress or the current president — who will ultimately decide its fate. Providing reminders to representatives in both chambers of that in the coming days will be crucial to beating back the onslaught of proposed legislation that, even if it passes the Senate, would at least have to passed again by the House and would likely have to go back through both chambers in compromised form.
Posted by Jeffrey H. Anderson on December 19, 2009 07:49 PM | Permalink
There’s a frightening game being played with the truth. And willingly or not, the CBO is helping the Obama administration lie to the American people.
A big part of the problem is that the CBO has to take Congress’ word for everything in their scoring – and the Congress (especially this Congress) is a bunch of liars.
If Congress has a huge spending bill, and tells the CBO that they will pay for it by picking the right numbers and hitting the mega-jackpot every year for the next 20 years, then the CBO must assume that the bill will be paid for – and thus “deficit neutral” in its scoring.
Maybe I’m not being clear enough. So I’ll provide another example. If Congress says that they will pay for their spending bill by summoning a winged fairy who will wave a magic wand and create a trillion dollars from nowhere, the CBO must count that trillion dollars in their scoring toward a “deficit neutral” bill.
Back in July, Obama summoned the director of the CBO, Douglas Elmendorf, to the White House. Republicans were outraged by this unprecedented event. The Wall Street Journal had an article entitled, “Bullying CBO.”
Some have thought that Elmendorf was in fact intimidated, because their scores suddenly became much friendlier to ObamaCare. But I personally believe it was simply a matter of the White House learning how to write a bill so that it would appear “deficit neutral” in a CBO score. Democrats, in other words, learned how to use the right gimmicks to get the right results.
So if Congress says that it will increase taxes by a trillion dollars, then the CBO has to take it as gospel truth in its calculations. But the fact of the matter is that tax revenues go down dramatically as tax rates go up (and see here also) for the simple reason that more and more people change their behavior and start sheltering their assets. In the same way, when a bunch of new fees are imposed, people will start buying less and less of what will suddenly become more and more expensive.
The more of your own money you are allowed to keep, the harder you will work, and the more you will risk your money by investing. The more you are taxed, the more you will adjust your behavior by protecting what you have, and the less you will be willing to take risks for a shrinking reward.
Bottom line: the federal government will collect far less in revenue than it thinks it will. Revenues are already down dramatically as the White House and congressional Democrats have repeatedly vowed to end the Bush tax cuts (i.e. raise taxes) and increase taxes across the board.
In the same way, if Democrats tell the CBO that they will create savings by cutting the Medicare budget to the tune of half a trillion dollars and apply that “savings” to ObamaCare, then the CBO must assume that that will be the case.
It’s frankly difficult to believe that the Democrats will actually gut Medicare as they are saying they will do. Will they really take $500 billion from Medicare? Really? And utterly outrage seniors who have counted on that benefit for decades? If they do, they will pay dearly for it in every election until those seniors finally die. If they don’t, you can add at least half a trillion dollars to what the Democrats say their bill will cost.
The same thing applies to the “doctor fix.” Democrats will either follow through with their plan to make Medicare so expensive to doctors and hospitals that many medical professionals stop accepting it, or else they won’t. If they do, the Medicare system will collapse. If they don’t, then you can add hundreds of billions more to the cost of their health care plan.
“A plan to slash more than $500 billion from future Medicare spending — one of the biggest sources of funding for President Obama’s proposed overhaul of the nation’s health-care system — would sharply reduce benefits for some senior citizens and could jeopardize access to care for millions of others, according to a government evaluation released Saturday. The report, requested by House Republicans, found that Medicare cuts contained in the health package approved by the House on Nov. 7 are likely to prove so costly to hospitals and nursing homes that they could stop taking Medicare altogether.”
And to pay for that fiasco, the Democrats are playing games that even liberals recognize are gimmickry and trickery.
As the government increasingly takes over, costs are going to go up (as they always do when government starts administering programs) and quality is going to go down.
The very people people who are going to increase our health care spending by trillions of dollars are preaching fiscal responsibility and the need to reduce our spending even as they do it.
The hypocrisy, stupidity, and lunacy of the government is enough to make one scream.