The Wall Street Journal just published an article titled “The Worst Bill Ever“. In it, they say
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has reportedly told fellow Democrats that she’s prepared to lose seats in 2010 if that’s what it takes to pass (Pelosi)Care, and little wonder. The health bill she unwrapped last Thursday, which President Obama hailed as a “critical milestone,” may well be the worst piece of post-New Deal legislation ever introduced.
In a rational political world, this 1,990-page runaway train would have been derailed months ago. With spending and debt already at record peacetime levels, the bill creates a new and probably unrepealable middle-class entitlement that is designed to expand over time. Taxes will need to rise precipitously, even as (Pelosi)Care so dramatically expands government control of health care that eventually all medicine will be rationed via politics.
The Republican Conference lays it out “by the numbers”:
5.5 million-Number of jobs that could be lost as a result of taxes on businesses that cannot afford to provide health insurance coverage, according to a model developed by Council of Economic Advisors Chair Christina Romer
$729.5 billion-Total new taxes on small businesses, individuals who cannot afford health coverage, and employers who cannot afford to provide coverage that meet federal bureaucrats’ standards
$1.055 trillion-New federal spending on expanded health insurance coverage over the next ten years, according to a Congressional Budget Office preliminary score of the bill
.7%-Percentage of all that new spending occurring in the bill’s first three years-representing a debt and tax “time bomb” in the program’s later years set to explode on future generations
$88,200-Definition of “low-income” family of four for purposes of health insurance subsidies
114 million-Number of individuals who could lose their current coverage under the bill’s government-run health plan, according to non-partisan actuaries at the Lewin Group
43-Entitlement programs the bill creates, expands, or extends-an increase from H.R. 3200
111-Additional offices, bureaus, commissions, programs, and bureaucracies the bill creates over and above the entitlement expansions-more than double the number in H.R. 3200
3,425-Uses of the word “shall,” representing new duties for bureaucrats and mandates on individuals, businesses, and States-also more than double the number in H.R. 3200
$60 billion-Loss sustained by taxpayers every year due to Medicare fraud, according to a recent 60 Minutes expose; the government-run health plan does not reform the ineffective anti-fraud statutes and procedures that have kept Medicare on the Government Accountability Office’s list of high-risk programs for two decades
Zero-Prohibitions on government programs like Medicare and Medicaid from using cost-effectiveness research to impose delays to or denials for access to life-saving treatments
$634 Billion-Amount that could be saved by denying individuals access to treatments that are not “cost-effective,” according to a report by the liberal Commonwealth Fund; Section 1160 of the bill gives bureaucrats in the Obama Administration virtual free rein to develop a new “high-value” reimbursement system for Medicare by May 2012
2017-Year Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will be exhausted-an entitlement crisis exacerbated by the bill, which according to the Congressional Budget Office will increase the federal budgetary commitment to health care by $598 billion in its first ten years alone
$2,500-Promised savings for each American family from health reform, according to then-Senator Obama’s campaign pledge-savings which the Administration’s own actuaries have confirmed will not materialize, as the Pelosi health care bill would increase the growth of health care costs
The Wall Street Journal article concludes
Mr. Obama’s own Medicare actuaries estimate that the federal share of U.S. health dollars will quickly climb beyond 60% from 46% today. One reason Mrs. Pelosi has fought so ferociously against her own Blue Dog colleagues to include at least a scaled-back “public option” entitlement program is so that the architecture is in place for future Congresses to expand this share even further.
As Congress’s balance sheet drowns in trillions of dollars in new obligations, the political system will have no choice but to start making cost-minded decisions about which treatments patients are allowed to receive. Democrats can’t regulate their way out of the reality that we live in a world of finite resources and infinite wants. Once health care is nationalized, or mostly nationalized, medical rationing is inevitable—especially for the innovative high-cost technologies and drugs that are the future of medicine.
Mr. Obama rode into office on a wave of “change,” but we doubt most voters realized that the change Democrats had in mind was making health care even more expensive and rigid than the status quo. Critics will say we are exaggerating, but we believe it is no stretch to say that Mrs. Pelosi’s handiwork ranks with the Smoot-Hawley tariff and FDR’s National Industrial Recovery Act as among the worst bills Congress has ever seriously contemplated.
Pelosi is pushing for a vote this week. Now that’s scary.