10-07-09 The CBO and Health Care Cost ProjectionsPosted by Al @ 12:07 am
Today the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) came out with their findings regarding the projected cost of the proposed health care bill(s) floating around Congress. As reported by the AP,
The Congressional Budget Office added that the measure would reduce federal deficits by $81 billion over a decade and probably lead to “continued reductions in federal budget deficits” in the years beyond.
The CBO must be smoking something wacky to think that this program will be, at a minimum, deficit neutral, must less an $81 billion surplus over ten years. The federal government can’t even accurately project a six-month budget, so how accurate do you think a 10-year projection will work. It won’t.
So how is this savings being accounted for. Well, the biggest portion of that, over $400 billion, will come from Medicare reductions. Good luck with that. Senior Citizens will be in the streets with pitchforks and tar and feathers if that becomes a reality. There will be a tax levied upon medical device makers and pharmaceutical companies. These industries will suck it up and not pass that cost along to its customers, including us and the federal government- yea when pigs can fly. Then we have the excise tax placed upon those who have comprehensive coverage with low deductibles (the Mercedes plans). How can they even guess the effect of this tax on the consumer’s choice of coverage when they are faced with a tax rate on these plans up to 40%. There is the possibility of consumers opting for a health plan with less comprehensive coverage to avoid or drastically reduce the tax and reduce their overall cost. However, the biggest winner of bright ideas for raising revenue is the penalty accessed to those who choose not to purchase health care coverage. I get such a big tingle up my spine knowing that the IRS would be involved in the health care business. I see an enormous benefit of this scam. First, since it would be cheaper for an employer to pay the “no coverage penalty”, they will start dumping their employees’ health insurance plans and, in turn, many of those employees will be left with little choice but to acquire health coverage from the fed. Then the unintended result to employees will be a reduction in pay. You don’t think an employer will look to compensate its employees for the loss of a health insurance benefit. The other unintended consequence for all Americans choosing not to buy health coverage will be the constant battle of keeping everything they own out of the hands of IRS auctioneers. I can hear it now. “Yea, ole Bob, just had his house sold by the IRS cause he didn’t pay the IRS no health insurance penalty”. Could these crafty, honest, and transparent congressmen have taken into account the potential proceeds from the sale of IRS confiscated party. I doubt it considering most of these congressional slugs have little or no true understanding of monetary policy or moral integrity. Then we have the illegal immigration shell game issue. Somehow, by virtue of progressive courts’ interpretation of the Constitution regarding individual rights(which now include illegal occupants of America) and twisting the meaning and classification of a basic right to include health insurance, the fed will offer free insurance to the lot of them. On top of that, the administrations of Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama have disregarded their duty to defend the Constitution by not protecting our borders and not enforcing immigration laws. Free health insurance to illegal aliens will result in a tsunami of illegals looking to get a piece of the action. How many newly welcomed illegals and the cost to provide insurance for them is absolutely unknown.
So, while the CBO is supposed to be non-partisan, I’d say they were non-partisan crack smokers, paid partisan hacks, or just plain ignorant. There are too many unknown variables in their equation. Then you throw in free insurance for current and future illegal aliens, while threatening legal citizen with IRS penalties and interest for not subscribing to the compulsory health insurance coverage version of America.
While I don’t support this compulsory system, it has nothing to do with its primary Democrat authorship and support. The Republicans have offered no truly substantial compromise or alternative. There is no clear cut solution to this problem and a problem it is. Health care, other than basic GP visits, are prohibitively expensive. Catastrophic care/coverage is the area needing most attention. Whether it’s the insurance industry, medical industry, including big pharma, the legal system or all, some reforming has to occur. Perhaps some price controls could be put in place. These products and services, needed by many Americans to survive, should be affordable and if the aforementioned industries can’t find it in themselves to reform and become affordable, then maybe they all deserve to be taken over by the government.