Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hiding the actual costs of Obamacare

Cato's Michael Cannon:

"House Democrats are scrambling to come up with tax increases or other means of paying for their $1.2 trillion medical insurance plan. Yet the legislation they're trying to cram through Congress is even costlier than they'd have you believe.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the House Democrats' legislation would spend $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. Yet that cost estimate is based on a tried-and-true budget gimmick that members of Congress use to hide how much of your money they want to spend.

In reality, the Democrats' health care bill is at least 50% more expensive than the $1.2 trillion estimate suggests.

President Obama and his fellow partisans want the federal government to guarantee medical insurance coverage to all Americans. According to estimates by the left-leaning Urban Institute, providing health insurance to all of the uninsured would cost just under $2 trillion over the next 10 years.

And that's a minimum. Since any conceivable change would end up subsidizing some people who already have coverage, the cost would be a good bit higher.

....Indeed, Democrats aren't reforming anything. They're just throwing more money at a broken health care sector. And they'd prefer you not know how much."

The lies about the cost are right up there in line with the lies about what actual provisions are contained in the proposed legislation:

" 'Here's a guarantee that I've made: If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance. If you've got a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep your doctor.'

This is an exact quote from President Obama's AARP meeting on Tuesday. The transcript is here. But a transcript shouldn't be necessary. The president has made the same detailed and absolute assurance on a half dozen occasions in the past few weeks. Only once was he pressed on it, by ABC's increasingly head-and-shoulders-above-the-rest-of-the-White-House-correspondents Jake Tapper, and the president deflected the question and quickly moved on.

The president has to flee from questions about these twin assurances that he routinely gives because they are not true. Have never been true. Cannot be made true.

....The president's pitch for his radical makeover of American medicine is built on a big lie of 'you get to keep what you have.' "


"Read the healthcare bill? You don't need to read the bill! Just vote Yes."

Meanwhile, the compromise deal worked out in the Senate is unacceptable:

".....instead of a government-run 'public option,' it would set up a nationwide health-insurance co-op.

Now, if this was really going to be a co-op like rural electrical co-ops or your local health-food store — owned and controlled by its workers and the people who use its services — it would be a meaningless but harmless diversion. America already has some 1,300 insurance companies, so it's hard to see what one more would add, but it would be unlikely to do much harm.

But these aren't true co-ops. The members wouldn't choose its officers — the president would. Plus, the secretary of Health and Human Services would have to approve its business plan, and thus could force it to offer whatever benefits, premiums and reimbursement schedules Washington wants. Finally, the federal government would provide start up, and possibly ongoing, subsidies.

A 'co-op' run by the federal government, under rules imposed by the federal government and with federal funding is simply government-run health insurance by another name.

Or, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put it, 'We're going to have some type of public option, call it "co-op," call it what you want.' "

I call it typical deceipt by the party of "transparancy".

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