Americans were duped once again by a power hungry Administration with the smoke and mirrors of the Congressional Budget Office. The Congressional Budget Office is non-partisan, and therefore does not play politics with the numbers. However, the CBO can only score the information given to it by the Administration, which can be confusing (they certainly didn't read and interpret the 2700 page document). Furthermore, the CBO has been historically low in their calculations. But there are several reasons that I want to shine light on regarding the true cost of this Health (Takeover) Reform Law.
Congressional Budget Office Scoring. This is reason one for my assessment that this bill is not budget neutral. The CBO can only score what they are given. As an example to demonstrate this idea, look at the Louisiana deal. Louisiana has a Senator, whose vote was purchased, by giving her state breaks tied to Hurricane Katrina (didn't that happen six years ago? Are they still milking that cow?) We have already spent enough money to buy every resident of New Orleans a house better than mine. But I digress. The CBO scored Louisiana. But they did not score Hawaii. The President was questioned about the Louisiana deal and (trying to make seem less odorous) claimed it will apply to every state that has a natural disaster and will already include Hawaii. Okay...well how much did that cost and where is the money coming from? Are you just printing more? Hell no. Taxes. That's where it will come from. So any state that has a disaster will get special treatment (meaning relief from the unfunded mandates discussed later). It wasn't scored that way, so expect cost increases for this bill before the ink ever dries. Also, the CBO has been historically low in their calculations (probably a result of the Administrations...Republican AND Democrat...controlling the information they score).
Double-Counting Medicare. Medicare is being reduced by hundreds of millions of dollars. This savings is going to be achieved a number of ways, but one is in reduced payments to providers...which is already a problem in and of itself. But where is the money going? It cannot go two places at once, but the CBO somehow managed to score it that way. We intend to close the "donut hole" on Medicare Part D with the money, while the full amount has been calculate to create solvency for the program. So which is it? You can't have your cake and eat it to...unless you control the way the CBO is scoring. I watched the President attempt to answer that question during his interview and laughed out loud. I was thinking of George Orwell's Double Speak. Double speak for double counting...how ironic.
Unfunded Mandates. Okay...just because it isn't Uncle Sam taxing you doesn't mean it isn't a tax. If the federal government mandates a state to act a certain way (and you wonder why there are dozens of Tenth Amendment challenges to this bill?) the state has to figure out how to pay for it. Sometimes that payment is funded through grants or directly by the government. Sometimes it is not funded at all. Many of the special deals in this bill (especially the Nebraska one) were an attempt to buy the vote in exchange for funding the mandate for the select few whose votes were needed. So introducing unfunded mandates to the states who are already running budget shortfalls is going to necessarily result in new state taxes. That, my friends, is not budget neutral. It is called hiding the real cost of this budget busting monstrosity.
Doctor's Fix. The Doctor's Fix (which will cost 150 to 200 Billion dollars) was intentionally removed from the health care legislation to help make it balance. That is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. To say that this fix isn't part of the reform is ludicrous. Not only is it part of the reform, but it was the price tag demanded by the AMA in order to come on board with the President. The Doctor's Fix was just another purchase required to get this bill past. So it is definitely part of the cost of the bill and alone would cause the bill not to budget.
Six Years Vs. Ten Years. I'm not good at a lot of things, but I can do math. I would liken this to a membership to Gold's Gym. You join in January to fulfill your New Year's Resolution. You are going to get back in shape and are determined to do it this year. But Gold's Gym knows it won't stick. It never does. So instead of losing half their revenue stream in mid-year they make you buy an annual membership and pay a monthly fee whether you use the Gym or not. So you end up with six months in the Gym for a year's worth of premiums. Sounds fair to me. Anytime you suggest that paying full price for half the coverage and call it balanced, I'm gonna call you crazy. Saying this bill is deficit neutral is crazy.
New Taxes. Aside from all of the other issues presented here, there remains one simple fact. 500 BILLION dollars in new taxes. Now that may not sound like a lot to people, but that is around four percent of our total Gross Domestic Product. That's a lot of money. Somebody has to pay it. Even if you assume that every penny will come from the upper one percent of earners, don't think you won't pay for it. Does anyone REALLY think that rich people pay taxes. Of course they do...but you subsidize it whenever you buy the product or service that MADE them rich. So we all get a piece of this tax increase. Because I firmly believe that the absence of cost control measures in this bill will cause incredible cost inflation, I think a lot more money is going to be needed and the threshold will be lowered substantially. The middle class is going to take a hit on this. Regardless of your position on whether the new taxes are fair or not...consider this. New taxes are never budget neutral...it is a new revenue stream. Call it what you want, but it doesn't make it so. New taxes are new taxes. Budget Neutral means that the money comes from cost savings within the legislation or offsetting expenses or reductions in cost or absorption through inflation. Incredible new taxes is a gross abuse of power and makes the idea that this bill is deficit neutral insane.
So I know what a lot of people are thinking. My child can stay on my health care until he/she is 26 or 27 or 42. Why should I care if the Rich People have to pay taxes. Because I GOT MINE. That is the mentality at work here. I got mine. This helps me, so cost be damned. I don't care if we lose our AAA credit rating, I don't care if it prolongs the recession, I don't care if causes our currency to collapse, I don't care if it causes small business people to lose their livelihood. All I care about it me, me, me. It is that mentality that the Democrats will play upon to spin this bill over the next six months. Look what we did for you...we are the good guys. It's called class warfare and it is unconscionable. Who do you think supports your community? Who do you think is sponsoring your kids baseball team or donating to the battered women's shelter? It is the small businessmen...the ones YOU don't care about because YOU got YOURS.
I hope that mentality doesn't apply to anyone reading this review. But it is a stark reality. As it stands now...I do not have to pay an extra red cent. But I know it's coming. I'm not stupid. And I am concerned about commerce, inflation, credit ratings and all of the other stuff that such a massive government power grab is going to affect. I care. I also care about the uninsured and wish we could have found legislation through a bi-partisan committee (the way government used to work) that would have addressed cost reductions...the one thing these 2,700 pages don't address. It is costs that are hurting Americans, not insurance companies. Too late now...many of you got what you asked for. And we will ALL pay for it. If you bought into the idea that this was budget neutral, then YOU got duped.
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
Nov 20, 2009
Feb 19, 2011 12:55 AM UTC
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 was passed by the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010, by a vote of 220–211, but has not yet been approved by the Senate.