Monday, July 20, 2009

How About The Cost Of Obamacare?

One of the biggest downsides to Obamacare is the cost to the American taxpayers. How much, exactly, is this going to cost us, and how is it going to be paid?

It's another multi-trillion dollar expense
Throughout his campaign, President Barack Obama repeatedly promised the American people: “If you’re a family that’s making $250,000 a year or less you will see no increase in your taxes. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your personal gains tax, not any of your taxes.” Just 15 days into office, President Obama signed a bill expanding Medicaid eligibility that was paid for with a 156% tax hike on tobacco. Since slightly more than half of today’s smokers (53%) earn less than $36,000 per year, Obama’s first effort at expanding government’s role in health care also became his first broken promise. But that first Medicaid expansion was minor league compared to the estimated $1.5 trillion health care plan Congress is considering now.
But, there are plenty of other options for increased taxes:
They only punish our most productive workers and investors. Proposed tax hikes in this category include: 1) capping the value of itemized deductions, including gifts to charities; 2) a 3% surtax on households earning more than $250,000; and 3) a millionaires tax. But the left is beginning to figure out that you can only squeeze so much revenue from class warfare taxation. So Congress is also considering a slew of other taxes that will, again, force Obama to break his not tax hike promise. These include: 1) a tax on soda; 2) a tax on beer; 3) an increase in employer and employee payroll taxes; 4) a flat tax on health insurance companies; 5) broadening the Medicare tax on investment income; 6) an employer mandate; and 7) a value-added tax on everything but food, housing, and Medicare. And we’re sure we missed some.
Obama's own CBO killed the attempt to downplay the costs:
CBO director Elmendorf laid out the economic impact of Obama’s never-ending trillion dollar deficits: “Large budget deficits would reduce national saving, leading to more borrowing from abroad and less domestic investment, which in turn would depress economic growth in the United States. Over time, accumulating debt would cause substantial harm to the economy.”

“[I]f employers who did not offer insurance were required to pay a fee, employees’ wages and other forms of compensation would generally decline by the amount of that fee from what they would otherwise have been.”
Need a visual? Here you go:

And guess who would get hit the hardest?
"Requiring employers to offer health insurance—or pay a fee if they do not—is likely to reduce employment, although the effect would probably be small," the CBO wrote. "Those who would most likely be affected are currently paid close to or at the minimum wage. They would be more vulnerable to job loss because their wages could not be lowered sufficiently to absorb the cost of health insurance (if their firm decides to offer) or the fee (if their firm does not) without bumping into the minimum wage."
After this info came out, the Dems could not help but admit to some irritation:

“I’d say it’s something we need to address,” Hoyer, D-Md., told us. “Clearly, bringing costs down is one of the major objectives of this effort, and we’ve got to do that. And if the scoring and the projections don’t indicate that we’re doing that, we need to go back to the drawing board and make sure we do that.”

“I wouldn’t call it a setback, but it is certainly something that we have to pay attention to,” Hoyer said.

Yeah, I'd call that a setback. But, since when have words ever kept their meaning when a Democrat needed to spin things?

Seriously, though, the costs and the reality of this show us what Obamacare really is: a Trojan horse naked power grab.

The reason left-flank Democrats are so adamant about a public option is because they know it is an opening wedge for the government to dominate U.S. health care. That’s also why the health-care industry, business groups, some moderates and most Republicans are opposed. Team Obama likes the policies of the first group but wants the political support of the second. And they’re trying to solve this Newtonian problem — irresistible forces, immovable objects — by becoming less and less candid about the changes they really favor.

A rhetorical gong Mr. Obama has been banging a lot lately is the idea that the people pointing all this out are liars. ‘When you hear the naysayers claim that I’m trying to bring about government-run health care,’ he said in one speech, ‘know this: They’re not telling the truth.’ He adds that opposition to a public option isn’t ‘based on any evidence’ and that it is ‘illegitimate’ to argue that his program is ‘is somehow a Trojan horse for a single-payer system.’

So much for changing the political tone. Perhaps the President should check in with his more honest liberal allies. Jacob Hacker, now a professor of political science at Berkeley, came up with the intellectual architecture for the public option when he was a graduate student in the 1990s. ‘Someone once said to me, “This is a Trojan horse for single payer,” and I said, “Well, it’s not a Trojan horse, right? It’s just right there,”‘ Mr. Hacker explained in a speech last year. ‘I’m telling you, we’re going to get there, over time, slowly.’”

You can watch the key excerpts of Hacker's speech here. But people have figured this out, and even Lefties are admitting it:

Here is the Washington Post’s blogger Ezra Klein admitting the exact same thing: “They have a sneaky strategy the point of which is to put in place something that over time the natural incentives within its own market will move it to single payer.”

Here is New York Times columnist Paul Krugman admitting the same thing: “…the only reason not to do [single-payer] is that politically it’s hard to do in one step…You’d have to convince people to completely give up the insurance they have, whereas something that let’s people keep the insurance they have but then offers the option of a public plan, that may evolve into single-payer, but you can do it politically…”

To say otherwise is to lie.

But that's what Obama has to do. He has to lie about what he's trying to do because the American people would never accept it if they knew the truth. And, that's also why he needs to rush this monster-sized bill into law before too much sunlight gets shined upon the ugly details. Democrats have even admitted this.

It's all the more reason you should call your Senators and Rep and demand they slow down and learn some real facts and answers, don't you think?

There's my two cents.

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