Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A View of the Horrendus Baucus Healthcare Bill

Democratic Senator Max Baucus has gained much publicity for his supposed efforts to craft a compromise bill that both sides can support. Instead he has put together a monstrosity that no other senator on his committee, Republican or Democrat, is willing to back. This whole legislative undertaking for government healthcare has become a tortured process of trying to stuff into a small bag an enormous, complex and crucial aspect of American life and freedoms. It is not at all helpful that President Obama and others have not been truthful about what they are trying to do and what the results of their efforts will be.

Baucus Blunders

By Peter Ferrara 9.23.09 American Spectator (Excerpt)

"Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has finally achieved broad bipartisanship with his new health overhaul plan. Nobody else has been able to unite 99 Senators behind any idea in health reform. But Baucus has managed to do just that, with 99 Senators unified behind the idea of NOT supporting his plan.

The plan is carefully crafted to scare away anyone interested in good public policy or just good politics (read re-election). The Baucus bill is grossly underestimated to cost almost $1 trillion in new spending, all financed by higher taxes on health care and health insurance, particularly union health plans, and Medicare cuts for senior citizens, while still leaving at least 25 million uninsured according to the CBO. It still provides for a government takeover of health care and the bureaucratic structure for government rationing of health care, increasing rather than lowering health costs overall.

What is most instructive about the bill is that it shows why Republicans and conservatives cannot support anything like what President Obama and the Democrats are talking about on health care. Below are the features of the Baucus plan that no Republican or conservative could possibly support, even though it is too "moderate" for the rest of the Democrat party.

Higher Health Costs

The Baucus plan is carefully structured to raise health costs for everyone, federal, state and local governments, businesses, and families. The CBO estimates it will raise federal spending by almost $1 trillion over 10 years, but the bill's spending would mostly be operational for only 6 of those years. That means the true 10-year cost once it is fully phased in would be closer to $2 trillion.

Health insurance prices will soar under the Baucus bill. One reason is that the government will force everyone to buy the health insurance coverage that the government insists you must have, which will include all the politically correct benefits like coverage for abortion that altogether add up to big costs. Insurance is also required to cover anyone who shows up no matter how sick they are and how expensive their health care will be (called guaranteed issue), and they can't be charged more for that coverage just because they may need highly expensive care (called community rating), which will raise insurance costs even more. The government will also limit the deductibles, co-payments, and out of pocket costs that people can choose for their health insurance. The Council for Affordable Health Insurance (CAHI), which includes some of the smartest free market economists on health care in the country, estimates that these factors alone would cause health insurance premiums to almost double." American Spectator

Budget chief contradicts Obama on Medicare costs

By ERICA WERNER Sept. 23, 2009 (AP) (Excerpt)

WASHINGTON — "Congress' chief budget officer is contradicting President Barack Obama's oft-stated claim that seniors wouldn't see their Medicare benefits cut under a health care overhaul."

The head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, told senators Tuesday that seniors in Medicare's managed care plans would see reduced benefits under a bill in the Finance Committee." AP

Obama’s New Claim That 30 Million 'Cannot' Get Health Insurance Not Supported by Census Bureau

Matt Cover September 22, 2009 (Excerpt)

"In his Sept. 9 speech to Congress, President Barack Obama unveiled a new claim that 30 million Americans “cannot” get health insurance, but this statistic is not supported by the government's latest definitive data produced by the Census Bureau on Americans lacking health insurance.

In his speech to Congress, Obama said, “There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage” – presumably taking into account conservative critics’ observation that Obama's earlier claims that 46 million Americans lacked health insurance was contradicted by Census Bureau data that indicated that more than 9 million of that number were not in fact U.S. citizens."

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