08.31.2009 0

Editorial: Blue Dogs in the Doghouse over the Public Option

  • On: 09/28/2009 09:58:32
  • In: Health Care
  • With the debate over ObamaCare proceeding into the month of October, and still no vote in the House on H.R. 3200, there is no question that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remains dedicated to pursuing the so-called public “option.” She says it could “save enormous amounts of money.”

    Her latest defense of the public “option”—which is not at all optional since it requires every American to have insurance—are a part of her attempts to woo the 52 member House Blue Dog caucus, 40 of whom have sworn up and down not to vote for a plan that adds a single cent to the deficit. The validity of her promise to “save” money is critical.

    How much in savings is House leadership promising? According to the Wall Street Journal, “Congressional aides said including a government-run plan for people under 65 in the health overhaul could save as much as $100 billion, if such a plan were to pay health-care providers the low rates used by Medicare…”

    Which is funny. The House version of the plan makes eligible some 45 million people not currently covered under government-run health care, taking the number from 80.3 million currently covered to some 125.3 million. It’s simple math. An average premium goes for about $4,700, and adding 45 million to the government rolls, as envisioned under the House bill, would actually add $211.5 billion a year.

    Nobody thinks this is deficit-neutral. Except for Barack Obama, the House majority, and a few sycophants who wish to maintain a talking point. By the House majority’s standard, that means the nation will wind up actually “saving” money. “[E]normous amounts of money.” But everyone else knows this will be costly very costly.

    And unless House Blue Dogs wish to go from the people’s House to the doghouse, they had better make good on their promise not to add a cent to an already out-of-control debt—now some $11.8 trillion.

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