One of my previous health care posts was entitled, “Quit Talking Stupid”, but I should have stopped at “Quit Talking”. This week, the Senate will vote on a new Health Care Bill that redefines stupid.
The “cost” of this bill is scored by the Congressional Budget Office at $849 billion, and CBO estimates it would reduce the deficit by $130 billion. That is stupid squared.
Let’s give just one minute of thought to those two statements. The CBO number is a net number; that is, all of the new costs less all six of its new taxes = $849 billion of net additional government spending. That increases the deficit by, duh, $849 billion.
And the $849 billion “cost” assumes a $500 billion gutting of Medicare in the out years; as if that would ever actually happen. The bill creates a panel to provide for “adjustments” if necessary – yeah, like when 100 million old people rush the
with pitchforks, ropes, and torches. So let’s drop that lie and call it $1.35 trillion of double-down stupid. Russell Senate Office Building
An earlier Senate version got to its equally stupid CBO score of $827 billion by cutting doctor’s fees by 25% and leaving them there. That must still be in this new one, as it was a $257 billion sprinkling of fairy dust which will also never happen. Tres Stupid. And now we are talking $1.5 trillion.
To repeat my past warnings of ENRON accounting in the CBO scoring of these bills, the new and improved Harry Reid Bill puts off most benefits until 2014, so they count 10 years of new taxes and only 5 years of paid benefits. Stupid times four.
Take 10 years of taxes and a full 10 years of benefit costs and the real net cost of a decade under this new health care system is over $2 trillion. That is the number that we need to double to account for every single government welfare program costing twice as much as we think it will.
Still want government health care? Ok, but talk $4 trillion of the stuff, and tell us where you will get the money from. Tax the rich? Already included. Increase Medicare taxes? Them, too. Forced premiums – ditto. Employer payroll taxes – yup. Tax premiums – way ahead of you. Tax flex savings – c’mon, man! Fines, forced premiums, payroll tax hikes - all in.
Remember all that talk about making our health care system more affordable? Yeah, well, this new one is so expensive that they had to add in a subsidy to families making up to $88,000 to help them pay all the new taxes and fees you are going to get stuck with.
And the coup de stupid? Our current system, with all of its problems, covers 90% of legal American citizens who want to purchase health insurance but can’t. The new Senate Bill increases coverage to 94%. 4 lousy percent. We are about to throw away the best health care system in the world and bust the bank by over $4 trillion to increase coverage by a nit, and that doesn't even happen for five more years.
This is stupid to the 10th power. It is unbearably stupid. Now I know why texters have so many different ways to abbreviate laughing hysterically out loud.
Don’t even bother to read the 2,074 page bill. Whatever the Senate passes will get tossed aside along with last month’s House bill when Nancy and Harry write up a brand new conference bill that will be even more stupid than the two versions they throw out. Axelrod already said they would. And then 100 different agencies will write up rules and regulations on a whim – like rationing mammograms, for instance. How was that for a wake up call?
Besides, you don’t need to read it to make up your mind, you just need to ask yourself one question: if it is as good for you as they claim, then why do they have to lie this much to get their own members to vote for it?
They know this will suck. I believe them on that one point. So should you.
Tim Nerenz is the Libertarian Party Candidate for