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citanon
09 Mar 10,, 07:29
FOXNews.com - Obama Confuses Decades, Inflates Estimated Health Care Savings by $868B (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/03/08/obama-confuses-decades-inflates-estimated-health-care-savings-b/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+foxnews%252Fpolitics+%2528T ext+-+Politics%2529)


Obama Confuses Decades, Inflates Estimated Health Care Savings by $868B

Obama boasted Monday that Democrats' health care proposals would cut deficits by $1 trillion "over the next decade," a flub that inflated the actual estimate by $868 billion

President Obama, making his final push for health care reform, pitched his proposal Monday to a crowd in Pennsylvania with a deficit-reduction figure that the White House later admitted missed the mark.

"Our cost-cutting measures mirror most of the proposals in the current Senate bill, which reduces most people's premiums and brings down our deficit by up to $1 trillion dollars over the next decade because we're spending our health care dollars more wisely," Obama told an audience at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa., a suburb north of Philadelphia.

Obama was so proud of these cost-saving numbers in the latest version of health care reform, he delved into a bit of Washington-speak to back them up.

"Those aren't my numbers," Obama said to the rising applause of the estimated 1,300 in attendance. "They are the savings determined by the Congressional Budget Office, which is the nonpartisan, independent referee of Congress for what things cost."

But the budget office did not say the Senate health care bill would save $1 trillion over the next decade -- or even close to that figure.

It estimated the bill would save $132 billion from 2010 to 2019, leaving Obama's "next decade" estimate $868 billion short.

When contacted about this disparity, a White House official said Obama meant to say the Senate bill would save $1 trillion in its second decade -- a projection that would more closely match congressional analysts' estimates.

The budget office, in estimating possible second-decade savings of up to $1 trillion, also cautioned against putting too much stock in figures for a period so far in the future: "A detailed year-by-year projection for years beyond 2019 ... would not be meaningful, because the uncertainties involved are simply too great."

Nevertheless, Obama is pressing Congress to act on reform measures in the face of united Republican opposition and a Democratic majority that is nervous about the upcoming midterm elections. He made the case Monday that all issues had been considered, all ideas vetted. It is time to take a stand he said.

"We have debated health care in Washington for more than a year," Obama said. "Every proposal has been put on the table. Every argument has been made. The need is great, the opportunity is here. Let's seize reform. It's within our grasp."

Fox News' Major Garrett contributed to this report.

gunnut
09 Mar 10,, 20:42
He talks a lot but all I hear is "blah blah blah."

Does anyone still take him seriously? He says everything people want to hear but never follows through.

highsea
10 Mar 10,, 19:51
I heard him refer to himself as the "leader of the democratic party" the other day in an interview.

Someone should tell him the US is not a parliamentary government. :rolleyes:

ShawnG
10 Mar 10,, 21:38
He talks a lot but all I hear is "blah blah blah."

Does anyone still take him seriously? He says everything people want to hear but never follows through.

Sadly enough, more do-nothing/know-nothing youth hang on his every word than I would care to mention.

The ones who watch E! news and read US Weekly--Obama is fashionable.

gunnut
10 Mar 10,, 22:48
Sadly enough, more do-nothing/know-nothing youth hang on his every word than I would care to mention.

The ones who watch E! news and read US Weekly--Obama is fashionable.

Fortunately for this world these people don't vote in significant numbers. :biggrin:

VegaSinclair
17 Mar 10,, 16:59
Fortunately for this world these people don't vote in significant numbers. :biggrin:

But when they do vote, they tend to vote for the Democrats because they're cool. The Democrats definitely have the advantage when it comes to the young vote. As far as the savings or deficit regarding health care, I don't think the CBO has punched the latest numbers. I think that's what Pelosi is waiting for.

ShawnG
17 Mar 10,, 17:06
Fortunately for this world these people don't vote in significant numbers. :biggrin:

Unless of course ACORN brings busses to their neighborhoods to get them to the polls to vote (a few times) for their favorite Democratic nominee.

astralis
17 Mar 10,, 18:02
shawn,


Sadly enough, more do-nothing/know-nothing youth hang on his every word than I would care to mention.

The ones who watch E! news and read US Weekly--Obama is fashionable.


while there is definitely some element of this, as we saw back in the presidential campaign, republicans should be careful not to group all "under 35's" in this category.

right now, i'd say the main reason for the disconnect is because the younger generation tends to be more socially libertarian -and- more socially liberal than the previous generation, with a larger percentage being a minority.

i think the republicans could gain real appeal if they embrace the principle of small, -competent- government, drop the religious nuts, and re-configure their immigration message, which is overwhelmingly just a drumbeat of "no illegals" (which easily bleeds into, "no immigrants") instead of a comprehensive policy.

ShawnG
17 Mar 10,, 18:38
shawn,
right now, i'd say the main reason for the disconnect is because the younger generation tends to be more socially libertarian -and- more socially liberal than the previous generation, with a larger percentage being a minority.

i think the republicans could gain real appeal if they embrace the principle of small, -competent- government, drop the religious nuts, and re-configure their immigration message, which is overwhelmingly just a drumbeat of "no illegals" (which easily bleeds into, "no immigrants") instead of a comprehensive policy.


That much is fact. I am currently a college student (should finally be done by the time I turn 30!) and it's disturbing how openly left the faculty and student body are--fellow adult learners alike. In Econ (macro) the instructor actually asked how many democrats/republicans there were (while making fun of republicans of the past 10 years). One other student and I raised our hands for Republicans (and I'm even a registered Independent!!!)

The old GOP surely isn't what is going to work today--as you said, drop the religious nuts and immigration ideas.

highsea
20 Mar 10,, 03:59
Back to the topic- Will Obamacare reduce Federal deficits? Here is an excerpt from a letter from Doug Elmendorf to Paul Ryan
...The Budgetary Impact of Enacting the Reconciliation Proposal and H.R. 3590 Excluding Cash Flows of the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund

You further asked about the budgetary impact of enacting the reconciliation proposal (the amendment to H.R. 4872) and the Senate-passed health bill (H.R. 3590) excluding the cash flows of the Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund, from which Medicare Part A benefits are paid.

On the basis of the economic forecast and technical assumptions underlying CBO’s March 2009 baseline, CBO projected that, under current law, the HI trust fund would be exhausted—that is, the balance of the trust fund would decline to zero—during fiscal year 2017. Enacting the reconciliation proposal and the Senate-passed health bill would reduce net outlays for Part A of Medicare by $286 billion over the 2010–2019 period relative to that baseline, CBO estimates. Enacting that legislation would also increase HI payroll tax receipts by about $112 billion over that period, according to estimates by CBO and JCT. Together, those changes in outlays and revenues would diminish budget deficits and add $398 billion plus interest earnings to the trust fund’s balances over that 10-year period. Given those changes in the inancial flows of the trust fund, CBO estimates that the HI trust fund would have a positive balance of about $219 billion at the end of fiscal year 2019.

In the March 18, 2010, preliminary analysis of the budgetary effects of the reconciliation proposal, CBO and JCT estimated that the direct spending and revenue effects of enacting that proposal together with the Senate-passed health bill (H.R. 3590) would yield a net reduction in federal deficits of $138 billion over the 2010–2019 period. Thus, the legislation’s effects on the rest of the budget—other than the cash flows of the HI trust fund—would amount to a net increase in federal deficits of $260 billion over the same period.

For the decade beyond 2019, CBO expects that enacting the reconciliation proposal and the Senate-passed health bill would reduce federal budget deficits relative to those projected under current law—with a total effect during that decade in a broad range around one-half percent of GDP. The legislation would have positive effects on the cash flows of the HI trust fund in that decade that would be larger than its effects on federal budget deficits as a whole. Therefore, leaving aside the cash flows of the HI trust fund, CBO expects that the reconciliation proposal and the Senate-passed health bill would yield a net increase in budget deficits during the decade beyond 2019.

The increase in the balances of the HI trust fund that would result from enacting H.R. 3590 and the reconciliation proposal might suggest that significant additional resources—$398 billion plus additional interest to be credited to the trust fund over time—had been set aside to pay for future Medicare benefits. However, only the additional savings by the government as a whole truly increase the government’s ability to pay for future Medicare benefits or other programs, and those would be much smaller ($138 billion plus interest savings to be achieved over time). In effect, the majority of the HI trust fund savings under H.R. 3590 and the reconciliation proposal would be used to pay for other spending and therefore would not enhance the ability of the government to pay for future Medicare benefits.

http://www.house.gov/budget_republicans/press/2007/pr20100319letter.pdf
So the plan is to cut medicare by $268 Bn, increase taxes by $112 Bn, spend the money elsewhere, and increase the Federal deficit.

JAD_333
20 Mar 10,, 04:40
i think the republicans could gain real appeal if they embrace the principle of small, -competent- government, drop the religious nuts, and re-configure their immigration message, which is overwhelmingly just a drumbeat of "no illegals" (which easily bleeds into, "no immigrants") instead of a comprehensive policy.

Excuse me. Have you just returned from Mars? :) What do you think the religious nuts want if not smaller government?

And I think you'll find a good number of Republicans prepared to face up to the immigration issue. As for the "no illegals" mantra, both parties say pretty much the same thing with somewhat different meanings.

JAD_333
20 Mar 10,, 04:53
Back to the topic- Will Obamacare reduce Federal deficits? Here is an excerpt from a letter from Doug Elmendorf to Paul Ryan So the plan is to cut medicare by $268 Bn, increase taxes by $112 Bn, spend the money elsewhere, and increase the Federal deficit.

The CBO memo was based on the Senate bill and a few House amendments. Don't the numbers the dem's are crowing about depend on the planned reconciliation of the Senate and House bills? The bill the House passed originally was supposedly deficit neutral and/or deficit reducing.

astralis
20 Mar 10,, 05:02
JAD,


What do you think the religious nuts want if not smaller government?

oh, they -say- they want smaller government, just as long as the government teaches creationism or intelligent design in schools; or telling people whom they can or cannot marry to include changing the constitution on that point; or no such thing as separation between church and state; increase funding for religious schools...


And I think you'll find a good number of Republicans prepared to face up to the immigration issue. As for the "no illegals" mantra, both parties say pretty much the same thing with somewhat different meanings.

oh, i expect republicans will become more liberal re: the immigration issue too, if for no other reason than the growing hispanic population. right now, though, the focus is different.

highsea
20 Mar 10,, 06:21
The CBO memo was based on the Senate bill and a few House amendments. Don't the numbers the dem's are crowing about depend on the planned reconciliation of the Senate and House bills? The bill the House passed originally was supposedly deficit neutral and/or deficit reducing.Jad- that CBO letter was today! That's the current scoring he's talking about- with the reconciliation language. :eek:

The House bill is dead and buried. The bills that gets deemed on Sunday is the Senate bill, and the reconciliation bill that the dems hope will get through the Senate.

This CBO letter is talking about those bills.

JAD_333
20 Mar 10,, 06:50
HS:

Then someone is pitching some serious heat. That's not what the House leadership was saying last night.

JAD_333
20 Mar 10,, 07:26
JAD,

oh, they -say- they want smaller government, just as long as the government teaches creationism or intelligent design in schools; or telling people whom they can or cannot marry to include changing the constitution on that point; or no such thing as separation between church and state; increase funding for religious schools...

You've got inside-the-Beltway disease.:biggrin: The issue for much, but not all, the Christian right is whether students are taught all the creation arguments, not just one. After all, Darwinism is more about evolution than primary creation. Big bang or intelligent design, who's to say how the world came into being. Let the student decide. Is that so bad?

As for marriage, what's wrong with having a universally accepted definition of it in the constitution? They would need 75% unanimity, which they probably don't have? What's important to me is that they recognize that they cannot extol the Constitution as the law of the land and then reject it when they can't change it.




oh, i expect republicans will become more liberal re: the immigration issue too, if for no other reason than the growing hispanic population. right now, though, the focus is different.

More liberal.:eek: Come on. You don't think the dems are eying the Hispanic vote too. But you can be sure there are a lot of Republicans who say, 'the Hispanic vote be damned if it's going to be a Trojan horse for more and more illegal immigrants.'

citanon
20 Mar 10,, 07:43
Back to the topic- Will Obamacare reduce Federal deficits? Here is an excerpt from a letter from Doug Elmendorf to Paul Ryan So the plan is to cut medicare by $268 Bn, increase taxes by $112 Bn, spend the money elsewhere, and increase the Federal deficit.

The accounting magic continues. The Democratic health bill contains no substantive reforms to reduce health care costs overall while compelling a large number of uninsured Americans to purchase insurance and extending huge new federal subsidies.

Well, if the marketplace stays largely the same, and you are pouring more money into the market and forcing more people to become customers, how could costs come down? Of course it can't possibly come down. Overall health care spending must go up as a direct result of the Democrats' "reforms".

How then can the Democrats claim a fiscal victory? Why, they only need to tax people more so that they can claim to be reducing the budget deficit. Never mind that, no matter which way you slice it, it's still going to be more money coming out of the pocketbooks of the American people. As long as you can reduce a number that's in the headlines (the Federal deficit), you can ignore other equally pertinent numbers that are harder to calculate and less attention getting (like what our insurance bills will look like in 5 years).

To top it off, they can now parade out figures calculated by the CBO, a universally respected outfit, nevermind, that the CBO has neither the responsibility nor the means to project the effects on the larger economy.

This healthcare "reform" effort is a complete sham. It takes accounting gimmicks worthy of Enron and Madoff and applies it to the entire US economy. It's unbelievable that the Democrats are managing to push this through. The Republican leadership should start emphasizing cost cost cost and painting a precise picture of exactly how bad a drag this would be on future economic growth instead of saying vague things about "government takeover of medicine", etc. :mad: :mad: :mad:

highsea
20 Mar 10,, 18:24
HS:

Then someone is pitching some serious heat. That's not what the House leadership was saying last night.Yep. And Obama too. They are all over the $138 Bn in deficit reduction. But that's only if you raid every cent from the Medicare Part A trust fund.

The prime mover behind all this legislation isn't uninsured Americans. It's a bankrupt Medicare system caused by Congressional raiding of the trust funds.

The Gov't needs more people in the private insurance system, so more medicare costs can be shifted to the private sector, so the Gov't can cut medicare reimbursements to hospitals. That's where the $268 Bn comes from.

The $268 Bn in Part A cuts to hospitals (very unlikely to actually happen, btw) and $112 Bn in new medicare taxes would make medicare solvent, but only if that money was used for medicare.

So you can look at it two ways:

The bill cuts the deficit by $138 Bn, but leaves medicare insolvent.

The bill saves medicare, but creates $260 Bn in new deficits.

There are some other problems with the scoring, such as it assumes inflation will not rise above 1% in the next decade.

Given that we've doubled the money supply, and the demonstrated inability of the Fed to predict the economy, I would think that is pretty damn optimistic. If the Fed doesn't start shrinking the money supply as soon as the recovery gets some momentum, inflation will go sky high. Even Bernanke has admitted that much.

JAD_333
20 Mar 10,, 18:38
The accounting magic continues. The Democratic health bill contains no substantive reforms to reduce health care costs overall while compelling a large number of uninsured Americans to purchase insurance and extending huge new federal subsidies.

It does more than compel; it requires. I've been imagining the feeling and consequences of that requirement hanging over my head in my daily life and more particularly on my identity as an American, if it comes to pass. I feel a sense of bondage coming like I've never felt before. My country is going to require me to carry and pay for health care insurance whether I want it or not. I will be fined if I don't, and if I don't pay the fine, I suppose my bank accounts and property will be subject to seizure.

I also sense that my image of what it means to be an American will change if this bill passes and becomes law. Up to now every obligation I assumed from the age of 18 has been in some way voluntary, except compulsory military service, which I see as a duty of every citizen. I chose to drive, so I must buy liability insurance. I chose to earn money, so I pay income taxes; I chose to own a home, so I pay real estate taxes; I chose to buy goods in stores, so I pay sales taxes. But I could choose not to do these things and thus be free of the obligations each brings. I could go off and live in what is left of the wilderness without breaking any laws except perhaps failing to participate in the Census. If this bill becomes law, those who choose to be Americans, as they conceived that identity to be before the health care bill passes, will become fugitives from the law.

A lot of people are sensing this, and they are not happy about it. States are passing laws making mandatory health care insurance illegal. My state, Virginia, did it recently. The stage is set for a constitutional showdown. I wouldn't be surprised if many people openly defy the requirement as a matter of principle.

It doesn't have to be this way. The so-called health care crisis is an outgrowth of market aberrations and existing Federal and state controls. So, the solution ought to be market oriented and less Federal and state control. The Republican plan recognizes this. It may not be a perfect solution, but it doesn't place every American into health care bondage or diminish their liberty.




Well, if the marketplace stays largely the same, and you are pouring more money into the market and forcing more people to become customers, how could costs come down? Of course it can't possibly come down. Overall health care spending must go up as a direct result of the Democrats' "reforms".

It would reduce the cost of health care insurance by increasing the pool of those insured. (Not everyone is sick all the time.) But as to how it would reduce actual health care costs, e.g., doctor bills, medicine and tests, I'm with you. It seems to me the greater the demand for limited resources, the higher the price for them will be. So, we come back around to the question of rationing and long wait times. What the dems are about to give us is an ersatz national health care system with all the problems of one but with the political luxury of not calling it so.



How then can the Democrats claim a fiscal victory? Why, they only need to tax people more so that they can claim to be reducing the budget deficit. Never mind that, no matter which way you slice it, it's still going to be more money coming out of the pocketbooks of the American people.

The money is already being spent for health care. It already comes from the people's pockets either in direct payment for health services or taxes. The idea is to dig deeper into some people's pockets and require everyone else to dig into their pockets like never before. The net result is that by shifting the burden to the people as a whole, the federal government will decrease its fiscal burden-- presto the deficit is reduced and the dems score a political victory, or so they believe.



This healthcare "reform" effort is a complete sham...The Republican leadership should start emphasizing cost cost cost and painting a precise picture of exactly how bad a drag this would be on future economic growth instead of saying vague things about "government takeover of medicine", etc. :mad: :mad: :mad:

Focusing on the sham aspects draws attention away from the real damage this bill will do. I think the message should be about liberty, about how the dem's plan is a form of permanent bondage on the people and an infringement on their right to choose for themselves how they conduct their lives.

astralis
20 Mar 10,, 19:02
JAD,


The issue for much, but not all, the Christian right is whether students are taught all the creation arguments, not just one. After all, Darwinism is more about evolution than primary creation. Big bang or intelligent design, who's to say how the world came into being. Let the student decide. Is that so bad?

the difference being that a scientific worldview is about proof and experimentation; a creationist/intelligent designer worldview by definition isn't-- it's about faith.


As for marriage, what's wrong with having a universally accepted definition of it in the constitution?

i thought conservatives were supposed to be for the inviolate nature of the Constitution, right?


But you can be sure there are a lot of Republicans who say, 'the Hispanic vote be damned if it's going to be a Trojan horse for more and more illegal immigrants.'

yes, it'll be interesting to see the dynamics of that play out. but demographics won't be in the republicans' favor if they alienate the hispanic population. anyway, enough thread hijacking from me-- we now return you to the original program...:biggrin:

highsea
20 Mar 10,, 19:06
I think if the individual mandate is upheld, this is only the beginning.

The big problem today is the looming bankruptcy of medicare, but social security is not far behind.

What we will hear in a few years will be an invented "retirement crisis". We are the richest country in the world, but our seniors are living in poverty, Americans need to save more, blah, blah.

The Gov't will mandate that everyone has to have an individual IRA account, they will set the amounts you have to put into these accounts, and they will come up with a way to skim off some of the money to shore up SSI.

JAD_333
20 Mar 10,, 19:53
JAD,



the difference being that a scientific worldview is about proof and experimentation; a creationist/intelligent designer worldview by definition isn't-- it's about faith.

Until science establishes exactly how and why the universe and life on earth came to be, widely held views whether motivated by religious faith or other thinking are part of the fabric of society and therefore are matters on which people should be informed. Insulating students from knowledge that doesn't come up to the standard of some self-appointed arbiters characterizes what is wrong in our educational system. The object of an education is not only to be informed, but to prepare people to make judgments.



i thought conservatives were supposed to be for the inviolate nature of the Constitution, right?


Correct. But you'll notice that the framers included a means whereby the constitution could be amended. You don't think conservatives reject that part, do you?



... enough thread hijacking from me-- we now return you to the original program...:biggrin:

Yeah, yeah...run away...:tongue::)):))

JAD_333
20 Mar 10,, 20:38
I think if the individual mandate is upheld, this is only the beginning.

The big problem today is the looming bankruptcy of medicare, but social security is not far behind.

What we will hear in a few years will be an invented "retirement crisis". We are the richest country in the world, but our seniors are living in poverty, Americans need to save more, blah, blah.

The Gov't will mandate that everyone has to have an individual IRA account, they will set the amounts you have to put into these accounts, and they will come up with a way to skim off some of the money to shore up SSI.

I was arguing 10 years ago that my business and employees could afford a 1% rise in the FICA rate and 1/2 % in the Medicare contribution. That's 1.5 cents per dollar of earnings plus 1.5 cents from my company, which would come to 3% of all payroll earnings in the US.

Considering that the average gross earnings of employed Americans is $40,000 (2005) 3% would be a substantial amount over time. The BLS says about 146 million people are actually employed. Times that by 40,000 and you have $5.8 trillion dollars in gross earnings. 3% of that is about $175 billion. Would social security and medicare be hurting so badly today if the rate had been upped a tad 10 years ago? It was because of lack of political will and big business lobbying that nothing was done and now we're face to face with the consequences.

highsea
20 Mar 10,, 21:09
Jad- did you happen to catch the 60 minutes piece on medicare fraud a couple months back?

Estimates are as much as $500 Bn a year, but no one really knows.

The scam goes like this:

Medicare has to pay all bills within 15 days of receipt.
Scammer sets up fake storefront in a strip mall as medical equipment supplier, gets a business license and bank account.
Puts up a few posters, a couple IV stands and wheelchairs in the window, never mans the store.
Scammer buys a list of medicare patients and codes from someone working in the records dept of a local hospital- pays a couple thousand for the list.
Scammer proceeds to send hundreds of thousands in fraudulent billings to medicare, medicare pays bills within the 15 days.
After a few months, scammer shuts down store, cleans out bank account and moves across town, sets up again.

The medicare fraud investigators can't do anything about it. There are only a few investigators, and they have to send notices to the company when there is going to be an audit. So the scammers just move on.

It's huge business in places like Florida, potentially bigger than even drug smuggling. And virtually risk-free. The scammer they had on the show (identity hidden) said ~75% of the medical equipment suppliers in Florida were phony.

citanon
20 Mar 10,, 21:45
It does more than compel; it requires. I've been imagining the feeling and consequences of that requirement hanging over my head in my daily life and more particularly on my identity as an American, if it comes to pass. I feel a sense of bondage coming like I've never felt before. My country is going to require me to carry and pay for health care insurance whether I want it or not. I will be fined if I don't, and if I don't pay the fine, I suppose my bank accounts and property will be subject to seizure.

I also sense that my image of what it means to be an American will change if this bill passes and becomes law. Up to now every obligation I assumed from the age of 18 has been in some way voluntary, except compulsory military service, which I see as a duty of every citizen. I chose to drive, so I must buy liability insurance. I chose to earn money, so I pay income taxes; I chose to own a home, so I pay real estate taxes; I chose to buy goods in stores, so I pay sales taxes. But I could choose not to do these things and thus be free of the obligations each brings. I could go off and live in what is left of the wilderness without breaking any laws except perhaps failing to participate in the Census. If this bill becomes law, those who choose to be Americans, as they conceived that identity to be before the health care bill passes, will become fugitives from the law.

A lot of people are sensing this, and they are not happy about it. States are passing laws making mandatory health care insurance illegal. My state, Virginia, did it recently. The stage is set for a constitutional showdown. I wouldn't be surprised if many people openly defy the requirement as a matter of principle.

It doesn't have to be this way. The so-called health care crisis is an outgrowth of market aberrations and existing Federal and state controls. So, the solution ought to be market oriented and less Federal and state control. The Republican plan recognizes this. It may not be a perfect solution, but it doesn't place every American into health care bondage or diminish their liberty.

I'm with you on this. My parents and I immigrated here for the land of freedom and opportunity, not the land of paternalistic government.



It would reduce the cost of health care insurance by increasing the pool of those insured. (Not everyone is sick all the time.) But as to how it would reduce actual health care costs, e.g., doctor bills, medicine and tests, I'm with you. It seems to me the greater the demand for limited resources, the higher the price for them will be. So, we come back around to the question of rationing and long wait times. What the dems are about to give us is an ersatz national health care system with all the problems of one but with the political luxury of not calling it so.

The fundamental problem here is that health "insurance" operates differently than all other forms of insurance. Other forms of insurance cover catastrophic events. In the case of health however, almost everyone will need some type of medical service every year. Even if you do not get sick, for example, you might need annual check ups, diagnostics and so forth. When you are old, you're using these services all the time. Thus, in normal situations, our health "insurance" operates more like a deferred savings plan.

In the current "insurance" driven market, consumers do not deal directly with suppliers. Instead, their money goes through large insurance bureaucracies that then pay the suppliers. This puts up a huge insulating barrier between the people who pay and who can actually best assess the quality of the product (the consumers) and those supplying the product (the health care providers). Of course, the insurance companies can squeeze suppliers to demand better service our healthcare market is broken and inefficient.

Of course there is a role for insurance, but it should be to cover catastrophic illnesses. Having all health services covered by insurance means that lots of things that are routine are instead priced catastrophically. My fiance's father is a Taiwanese doctor. In Taiwan, appendicitis surgeries used to cost 1/10 to 1/30 of what they cost here (IIRC) and the Taiwanese doctors were not earning much less than US doctors (until the government took over healthcare). These and other consequences of the inefficient market allows for unconstrained cost growth.

Now you add in, to this inefficient market, an increasing number of people who are likely to be fairly healthy but in need of more routine types of medical services, covered by huge amounts of more money raised by taxation. Will this drive costs down? I highly doubt it. I suspect it will drive costs up even further as providers expand capacity inefficiently to meet new demand.

Furthermore, there will be an increase in brand name prescription medical coverage for the old, paid for, again, by government subsidies. Again this money is "covered" by taxation, but Medicare has traditionally underpaid health care providers. This time there will be no exception, and the shortfall will be passed to other consumers not under medicare. This again creates upwards price pressure on the entire market.

So, in effect, the "reforms" will drive prices up, up and up beyond the amount covered by taxing the "rich".


The money is already being spent for health care. It already comes from the people's pockets either in direct payment for health services or taxes. The idea is to dig deeper into some people's pockets and require everyone else to dig into their pockets like never before. The net result is that by shifting the burden to the people as a whole, the federal government will decrease its fiscal burden-- presto the deficit is reduced and the dems score a political victory, or so they believe.

See above. The bill does nothing to constrain cost growth and I think it will actually spur it, so the decrease in federal deficit is a Pyrrhic victory paid for by worsening the fiscal health of the whole country.



Focusing on the sham aspects draws attention away from the real damage this bill will do. I think the message should be about liberty, about how the dem's plan is a form of permanent bondage on the people and an infringement on their right to choose for themselves how they conduct their lives.

I think the bill certainly damages liberty, but the economic damage will also be substantial. As a political argument, it's safer to go for both hearts and wallets. :))