Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More Examination Of Obamacare Costs

This is a key point to debate, so let's look some more at what it will cost to implement Obamacare.

Obama says he wants a deficit-neutral plan. That's great...if it happens. But it won't, at least not under any plan currently being debated anywhere in Congress. For example:
This is what the CBO letter actually says:

According to CBO’s and JCT’s assessment, enacting H.R. 3200 would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period.

And if you have any doubt about CBO’s scoring of the House plan, here is what CBO director Doug Elmendorf told Congress last week:

Under questioning by members of the Senate Budget Committee, CBO director Douglas Elmendorf said bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose “the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a signficant amount.”

“On the contrary,” Elmendorf said, “the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.”

And just what is the impact of our nation’s long-term deficits, which the CBO confirms the House health plan only makes worse? Elmendorf explains on his blog:

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.

And that's not including the huge tax increases that will accompany the budgeted portion of Obamacare, by the way.

On top of that, due to the way Medicare is reimbursed by the federal government, many Governors are now becoming very concerned that they will be the ones to end up paying the bill. Some states are so worried that they've already begun the process of passing opt-out legislation to avoid Obamacare!

And we can't discuss costs without discussing the inevitable inefficiency and fraud of any government program. Some estimates say that Obamacare will hemorrhage as much as $500 billion in fraud and waste alone! Hey, it happened with the stimulus (7.5%).

And what will we get for all these costs?
- a new health insurance czar to dictate who gets what insurance
- tens of millions of Americans will lose their current insurance

What a trade-off, right?

But the message is getting out, and the polling data shows it. In fact, support for Obamacare recently fell below 50% for the first time since Obama was elected!

Here are some suggested questions for your Senators and Rep:
  1. Barack Obama said Friday that his healthcare plan will not increase the deficit. If the plan does increase the deficit, will you oppose it?
  2. Will you oppose a plan that includes a public option?
  3. Will you oppose a plan that includes a trigger for a public option?
  4. Will you oppose provisions paying for taxpayer funded abortions?
These should be some very significant answers, and ones to which you can hold your reps accountable.

Bottom line: the costs of Obamacare are staggering.

There's my two cents.

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