07.31.2009 0

Too Hot Not To Note: Catch me if you can

  • On: 08/21/2009 09:30:11
  • In: Health Care

  • ALG Editor’s Note:
    In the following featured commentary, Peter Ferrara from The American Spectator explains thoroughly the enormous amount of negative effects that will come to the American people through Obamacare.


    Catch me if you can

    by Peter Ferrara

    Last week, Barack Obama treated us to a traveling road show crusading for his heath care overhaul plan. But what he actually said at those staged, orchestrated, town halls packed with his fervent supporters was so unhinged from the reality of the Congressional legislation he is supporting that he must have consciously decided to challenge us all with the dare: “Catch me if you can.”

    President Obama keeps repeating over and over that his plan does not include any cuts in Medicare. But the legislation he is supporting specifies $500 billion in reduced funding for Medicare, scored by CBO. When arguing that his health overhaul is paid for, he wants credit for these cuts. But when challenged, he wants to deny before the whole country in broad daylight that he is doing it. I can’t recall any precedent for such a Presidential disconnect from reality.

    In trying to deny these Medicare cuts, President Obama said at one town hall that AARP had endorsed his plan. He said, “AARP would not be endorsing a bill if it was undermining Medicare, okay?” But just the night before, AARP was on national television denying that it had endorsed the Obama health plan. It issued a press release saying the same just after Obama’s town hall misstatement.

    President Obama also repeats over and over in these town halls that his health plan will reduce health costs, thereby reducing federal spending and deficits. But CBO, which is now in complete control of the Democrat Congressional majorities, says just the opposite. It says the Obama health overhaul plan will increase federal spending by close to a trillion dollars or more, and increase the federal deficit by hundreds of billions. On health costs, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf told Congress,

    In the legislation that has been reported we don’t see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal spending by a significant amount…[O]n the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health costs….[The government public option for health insurance] raises the amount of [spending] that is growing at this unsustainable rate.

    And here’s a dirty little secret. The CBO surely underestimates the costs of the Obama health plan, just as it regularly does for new government programs, health programs in particular. The official government estimates for Medicare when it was adopted in 1965 projected that the program would cost only $12 billion by 1990. But the actual costs of the program by that year were $109.7 billion, nine times larger than the original estimate.

    Independent private estimates have ranged far higher than what CBO projects. HSI Network used its proprietary ARCOLA simulation model to estimate that the House bill would cost $3.5 trillion in additional federal spending alone over 10 years. HSI estimates that the Senate bill would cost $4.1 trillion over 10 years. These estimates seem far more realistic than the CBO estimates. In my study of the Obama health plan for the Heartland Institute (www.heartland.org<http://www.heartland.org/>), I explain in thorough detail how and why the Obama health overhaul will raise rather than lower health costs.

    But in the town halls, President Obama just goes from bad to worse. In Colorado on Saturday, President Obama even suggested that his health overhaul scheme would “bend the cost curve,” reducing “health care inflation” so much that the enormous long-term deficit of Medicare (unfunded liability: $89 trillion) would be eliminated! He said that without his health overhaul plan, “We’ll either have to cut Medicare, in which case seniors then will bear the brunt of it, or we’ll have to raise taxes, which nobody likes.” But the CBO has never ever come anywhere near to confirming anything like this. This is just abusive…continuing reading here.

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