Reid’s health care bill CBO Scoring is good politics, but the legislation still stinks

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Last night, the CBO released the scoring for Reid's health care bill.  Instantaneously, the news reports gushed over how Reid's bill would not only be deficit neutral, but would in fact reduce the deficit by nearly $130 billion in ten years.  Unfortunately, the good news is more the result of well-timed politics than actually creating good legislation.  

The real reason the news seems so positive regarding Reid's legislation is the direct result of Reid not making the legislation available to be criticized ahead of the CBO scoring.  The media, in its pliant attitude towards leftist policies are merely trumpeting the wonderful news for all to hear before anyone has a chance to tell you what policies are included in the bill.  Let me be the first to fill you in on how the CBO projected surplus gains on the legislation:
  • The Doctor Fix is out; wink-wink!  You can read all about this scam in one of my more recent posts.  Without the Doctor Fix, a 23% cut in Medicare reimbursements, any of the health care legislation that has been proposed thus far would project surpluses.  I don't think a single rational human being would make the argument that cutting payments to doctors and hospitals is the best approach to tackling the deficit.  Pass the Doctor Fix separately and projected surpluses magically turn into deficits.
  • If a program adds to state and local deficits, but not the federal deficits, does that really mean that the program is deficit neutral?  One of the biggest pieces of this legislation is a gigantic expansion of the Medicaid and S-Chip entitlement programs.  These won't add to the Federal Budget though, instead Uncle Sam has decided to create an Unfunded Mandate for the states so that Washington politicians can pretend that there are no budgetary effects.  How many states are going broke right now?
  • What are costs of implementation and enforcing the mandates?  They don't keep score at the CBO.  Costs that are associated with enforcing mandates, such as increased oversight by the IRS, are not accounted for in CBO scoring.  If the CBO has to calculate this every time congress wanted to pass legislation, they'd never be able to find deficit neutral legislation.
  • The CBO did not indicate whether the legislation actually bends the increasing costs to health care.  As I've pointed out before, this is the real issue.  I'm fine with balancing the budget.  It is a plus to legislation, but the cost crisis is in stemming the rate of health care cost increases year over year.  All the legislation being proposed by Democrats is akin to kicking Grandma to the curb and taking away the large sums of entitlement money currently allotted to a few (old people) and reallocating those entitlements to a larger number of people.  

It's a great way to buy votes, but it doesn't do anything to fix, reform, or improve health care.  I'm sick and tired of all the pretending that this legislation is anything more.

Side Note:

Backdoor single payer is also stronger in Reid's bill.  The new bill charge's only $750/year to those that refuse to purchase health care.  That's a mere $62.50/month.  I can't imagine why anyone would purchase health care insurance under this mandate, if the same legislation is going to bar insurance companies from refusing coverage based on preexisting conditions.  It creates a situation where no one will buy insurance until they need to use it, which will either make private insurance more expensive or put private companies out of business.

Another Side Note:

I was unable to determine from the report whether Reid's bill had the same revenue generating scheme as the Bacchus bill. The Bacchus bill collected 10 years of taxes to fund 7 years of costs.

Read the scoring here.

Update #1

MSNBC has the scoop on some more gimmicks in the Senate bill. The effective date for the legislation is one year later, 2014. Therefore, the effects of legislation that will occur for six of the ten years in the ten year window, will be spread out accross ten years. That's in part, how the senate bill comes in lower then the congressional bill. Also, tax start a year earlier, so we will collect taxes for 7 years to pay for 6 years of costs. Does that sound like it pays for itself?

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8 comments

just fork your income over to Hussein..He'll take care of u..NOT!!

November 19, 2009 at 1:05 PM

it depends on your definition of "take care of you"

November 19, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Perfect dissection C-Gen, I'll link this when I write about it today too. Nice work!

November 19, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Nice post! It's hard to find time somedays to post and research, always enjoy your posts! Plus I'm still recovering from the dreaded swine flu since I was not able to get vaccinated!!

I added you to my fav blogs!

November 19, 2009 at 1:31 PM
CJ said...

Why is this Medicare slashing okay but it was draconian in ‘96?

Great point on the no-insurance penalty being too low! If that’s the only penalty, everyone can wait till they get sick to buy “insurance” against getting sick. All “health insurance” will be like my states health insurance risk sharing pool (HIRSP): expensive insurance for people who failed to buy insurance before they got sick.

This overhaul makes me think we need a new party, one that believes in helping the poorest members of society with their basic needs so that they can eventually prosper, not need any government help, and eventually pay taxes to provide help to other needy people. I used to think that was the Democrats. It seems like this plan is aimed at making the people who should step up and help the needy feel like they need government help too. If most everybody feels they need help, there won’t be people left to do the helping. The only thing that worse is Republicans, whose target audience is losers who want to keep other people down so they don’t feel so bad about themselves. Where is a party of winners?

November 19, 2009 at 5:21 PM

LCR - I appreciate it!

Right - I'm glad to hear that you are recovering and back to posting. I am a big fan of your blog. I hope that I'll be able to direct some good traffic your way.

CJ - thanks!

I can't speak for Republican politicians. Few of them are everyday, normal people. However, many of the Republicans/Conservatives that I know see poverty slightly different. Instead of forced charity via government, I've long strived to do all I can to help those in poverty and be an example for others to follow. I help out habitat for humanity. I volunteer for benefits. I've done free tax returns for the needy. I've cooked and helped feed others. I donate. I organize. I talk about it a lot and try and get others involved.

I understand that in this way I'm biased, but I see this as the real solution to poverty. I'm not just giving a check like the government does, I'm specifically showing compasion and working real hard to help bring people together to meet each others needs.

I feel like if the Democrats spent as much time and money in doing things like this as opposed to debating/creating a government program, things in this country would be a lot better.

November 19, 2009 at 8:50 PM
JamW96 said...

Nice Blog, just found your site and enjoyed the read. Will be adding your site to our blog list.

www.whatmakesusright.blogspot.com

November 23, 2009 at 9:29 PM

Jam - Thanks! I just added your to mine :)

November 24, 2009 at 8:33 PM

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