Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Comments from the Cato live blog of the Obama speech tonight


Here are some excerpts:

Michael F. Cannon:

“Buying insurance on your own costs you three times as much as the coverage you get from your employer.” Absurd. CBO: “Premiums for employment-based plans are expected to average about $5,000 per year for single coverage and about $13,000 per year for family coverage in 2009. Premiums for policies purchased in the individual insurance market are, on average, much lower—about one-third lower for single coverage and one-half lower for family policies.”

Cato Institute:

Here's a real look at health care systems around the world. "The grass is not always greener," says Michael Tanner.

Michael F. Cannon:

“Our overall efforts have been supported by an unprecedented coalition of doctors and nurses; hospitals, seniors’ groups and even drug companies – many of whom opposed reform in the past.” …but who now support reform, because we’ve bought them off!

Michael F. Cannon:

“There is agreement in this chamber on about eighty percent of what needs to be done, putting us closer to the goal of reform than we have ever been.” No, there has been silence about that 80 percent, because everyone’s been focusing on the other 20 percent. Once people start delving into the mandates and price controls in the 80 percent, they’re not going to like what they see: higher premiums, higher taxes, lower wages, lower-quality care, and government rationing.

Michael F. Cannon:

“It’s a plan that asks everyone to take responsibility for meeting this challenge – not just government and insurance companies, but employers and individuals.” Translation: I’m going to tax the hell out of you, but I don’t want you to notice how much I’m going to tax you. So I’m going to tax employers and insurance companies, and they’re going to pass the taxes on to you. The taxes on employees and individuals won’t even show up in the government’s budget. It’s all very clever. No, seriously – just ask my economic advisor Larry Summers.

Michael F. Cannon:

“Let me repeat this: nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.” Umm, Mr. President? You’ve repeated lots of untrue stuff before – in particular that very statement. Are you making it true this time? Or are you still pretending?

Michael F. Cannon:

Ah, the "Medicare Trust Fund." I'm not going to take a single dollar out of this empty pocket to pay for health care reform.

Michael D. Tanner:

Thus, one in five seniors will be kicked off Medicare Advantage

Patrick Basham:

The GOP should pose Obama these two questions: (1) Name one Administration or Congress that has eliminated several hundred billion dollars of waste from government programs? (2) Specify the waste in Medicare & Medicaid that you'll eliminate totaling several hundred billion dollars?


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