Free Markets, Free People

Baucus: The Real Cost Of Health Care Reform …

David Freddoso catches Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) in an unscripted moment of truth:

“Health care reform, whether you use a ten-year number or when you start in 2010 or start in 2014, wherever you start at, so it is still either $1 trillion or it’s $2.5 Trillion, depending on where you start…”

Of course, regardless of where you start, it won’t cost just the 894 billion that has been claimed. Again, for those who’ve missed it the numerous times I’ve mentioned it, CBO can only score a 10 year window. So, knowing that Democrats used a bit of trickery to make the bill in the Senate seem to cost less than it really does. They front-loaded the taxes (they begin immediately upon passage) and they delayed the major programs (they begin in 2014 – those are the two dates Baucus cites) so that the cost is spread over 10 years (although they only take place in 6) as is the revenue. You figure it out – 10 years of revenue and 6 years of spending – would that drive the supposed 10 year cost down?

Of course it would. Is that the true cost of the program? Of course it isn’t. And, if you look at the second 10 year window, costs explode (into the 2.5 trillion range).

Also, the claim is cuts in Medicare will help pay for this. Yet they’re about to pass the “doc fix” bill which will prevent 250 billion (a quarter of a trillion) in reduced payments to doctors. Does this indicate a willingness to do what is necessary to pay for this health care monstrosity? Of course it doesn’t. It again indicates that Congress enjoys the roll of Santa Claus much more than that of being fiscally responsible.

Anyone who actually believes these numbers from Congress is either naive, purposely blind to the truth, inexperienced with their ways or just doesn’t care.  This is a bank breaker and will eventually have to be reckoned with.  Don’t forget that those who said Medicare would be a low cost program when it was first implemented (and now has 35 trillion dollars in future obligations) are now making the claim that spending 894 billion (or 1 trillion or 2.5 trillion) will actually save us money.  Yes, for those who believe in flying unicorns, it will be the first entitlement ever to turn a profit.



8 Responses to Baucus: The Real Cost Of Health Care Reform …

  • “Also, the claim is cuts in Medicare will help pay for this. Yet they’re about to pass the “doc fix” bill which will prevent 250 million in cuts to payments to doctors.”

    Think you mean billion.  Nobody would give a flip about 250 mill.

  • Nobody would give a flip about 250 mill.

    Based on the quote in Bruce’s post, they don’t seem very fazed by $1.5 trillion, either.  They really believe that they can ignore the debt forever, so the numbers don’t matter.

  • I hate to sound like a broken record, but let me reiterate it one more time, my prediction, made months ago right here:


    It will die in the Senate, deservedly so, because the Demmies are in a complete meltdown and no one can stop that. Harry “Searchlight” Reid cannot compromise enough to get the votes of Lieberman, Nelson (of Nebraska), or Lincoln of Arkansas without losing Burris of Illinois, or Sanders (Col. Sanders the Chickenhead) of Vermont.

    In the end, this thing will die, and the Demmies will be shelacked come next November. I cannot wait to see Paul Begala and James Carville sit on CNN’s set with trash cans on BOTH of their heads.

    • It ain’t dead until it’s in the coffin with a stake through its heart.  Or until no member of Congress will publicly even speak of proposing such legislation for fear of being tarred, feathered, horsewhipped, run out of town on a rail, and facing a serious reelection fight.

      It may well be that the dems’ versions ARE dead.  However, as I’ve written before, the GOP have their own plans that will likely become reality if (as I deeply hope) they gain a majority over the trash in the upcoming midterms.  After all, Imeme will gladly sign anything with the words “health care” and “reform” in the title not only so that he can collect kudos for his “unprecedented” accomplishment AND get kudos for “bipartisanship”, but also because he knows that ANY program the GOP passes, no matter how “moderate” (can anybody explain to me what is “moderate” about Uncle Sugar having ANY control over our health care???), can and will be eventually blown up into the single-payer, big-government system he wants.  For the children, you know.

      We’re in the strange situation of wanting to be saved from the democrats by the GOP, who may wind up actually doing the thing that we fear the dems want!

  • I am a bit more pessimistic. I think some Dems will fall on their sword to get this passed.