By the numbers – Pelosi’s health scare bill


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.


5 Responses to “By the numbers – Pelosi’s health scare bill”

  1. Ronald D. Hunt Says:

    I don’t think it can pass, they lost the confidence of the progressive caucus when they removed the Kucinich amendment and watered down the public option.

  2. rmwarnick Says:

    Per the latest Frank Luntz memo, you ought to stop calling health care reform “Obamacare.” He discovered that President Obama’s popularity makes people more inclined to support reform when it’s linked to the White House instead of Congress.

    Republicans are a barrel of laughs. During the run-up to the Iraq invasion, did anyone wonder how much it would cost or how it would be paid for? Now we are trying to fix a dysfunctional health care system that kills 45,000 Americans annually. The fix is going to SAVE MONEY and reduce the federal deficit. Yet Republicans want to complain about the cost.

  3. Cameron Says:

    Democrats are funny. After 8 years of hating president Bush they don’t go a day without rationalizing their own actions by saying Bush did it too. Then they consistently make up statistics to dishonestly scare people into supporting their piece of crap legislation.

  4. Chris Rasmussen Says:

    So you refute the numbers presented above and the principles of economics?

    We need 1,990 pages for the government to “fix” the health care system? The Declaration of Independence fills a piece of parchment 29-3/4″ by 24-1/2″ and created a nation. The US Constitution fills 16 8-1/2″ by 11″ letter paper and created the most inspired government framework to protect freedom in history.

    Any piece of legislation that has to be bigger then the Bible to accomplish its end is disturbing. What is included in those 1900+ pages? What will be forced on us by our law makers hidden in those pages? Is anyone going to refute the information stated above? Is the data presented in this post incorrect? How is this going to “save money”?

    First law of economics: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

  5. Ronald D. Hunt Says:

    “$88,200-Definition of “low-income” family of four for purposes of health insurance subsidies”

    The subsidy is on a sliding scale providing a health credit that will fill the cost gap from 1.5x poverty level at 2% of income to the cost of a qualifying insurance plan to 4x the poverty level at 12% of income to the cost of a qualifying insurance plan.

    All People below 1.5x poverty level will qualify for medicaid.

    So in most cases at an income of $88,200 their would very little to no subsidy.

    “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”

    The grand majority of these people with or without reform will have their current plan changed by their employer anyway so its a manipulative statistic to sight. (Theirs Lies, then theirs Damned Lies, And then their is statistics – Mark twain)

    I have to agree this bill won’t save anyone any money, It gets more people health insurance which is a good improvement.

    The only real reform is of course single payer, the savings from administrative costs, Bulk payment, national negotiated rates for drugs, medical devices and services, dismantlement of the managed care medical bureaucracy, simplified billing though the income tax system, nationally standardized record keeping forms and practices, etc. These things would shave 600-800 billion dollars per year off the TOTAL cost of the health care and provide universal coverage to everyone.

    And we don’t have to follow the Canadian model, we can put in a strong supplemental private insurance system so that people can gain faster access to services if their willing to pay for it, while at the same time gaining the advantages of having everyone covered irregardless. This would have many similarity’s to the French model the number 1# rated health care system in the world.

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