Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Congressional Legerdemain

Congressional Legerdemain

Michael Barone points out an article in the New York Post by Jefferey H. Anderson that illustrates just how much the Senate's proposed Health Care bill will really cost, as opposed to what they're trying to sell us.

It's like they think the Great Unwashed can't understand mortgages with variable interest rates and balloon payments, or something.

They tell us that the first ten years of this wonderful plan will cost only (only!) $849 billion over the first ten years.

Nazzo fast, Guido.

Here's a chart that shows how they get that number (click to embiggen):

Anderson says in his piece:
As the CBO analysis indicates, the bill's real 10-year costs would start in 2014. And in its true first decade (2014 to 2023), the CBO projects the bill's costs to be $1.8 trillion -- double the price Reid is advertising.

And that's even though the CBO optimistically assumes the government-run "public option" wouldn't cost a cent.

Over this same 10-year span, the bill would hike taxes and fines by $892 billion -- more than the alleged price of the bill.
On top of this, Anderson expands:
Just as problematic are the bill's effects on entitlement spending and deficits. Medicare is already teetering on the edge of insolvency. This year's Medicare Trustees Report (signed by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius) warns that the Medicare Hospital Trust Fund -- the main funding channel for the largest part of Medicare -- will become insolvent in 2017.

Worse, nearly four people are now paying into Medicare for every beneficiary. But with the baby boomers' retirement fast approaching, that number will drop over the next 20 years to about 2½. Fewer and fewer people will be paying higher and higher costs.

Yet, as the CBO notes, in its real first decade, the bill would siphon $802 billion from Medicare to spend elsewhere. With its financial outlook already beyond bleak, Medicare is the last place to look to for "free" money.

Among the $802 billion that Reid would divert from Medicare is $431 billion in cuts in doctors' pay (far more than the misleading figure for 2010-19). The bill says it would cut payments to doctors for services to Medicare patients by 23 percent in 2011 -- and never raise them back up, ever.

No one who's been in Washington for more than five minutes actually expects this reduction to occur -- and if it doesn't, then the Senate health bill would increase our deficits by $286 billion in its true first decade, according to CBO projections.
Read the whole thing.

In comments yesterday, Markadelphia asked:
(W)hy does the government want to get into health care? Several answers suggest themselves. With Medicare, Medicaid, S-Chip and state run health care, they already are fairly involved. But what is their motivation for this current push for historic legislation?
"Historic." Yeah, there's an appropriate adjective. "Little Boy" was an historic bomb in the same way this legislation is "historic." I want to attribute good intentions to our elected overseers, I really do. But if you wanted to destroy the American health care system and the American economy, I find it difficult to believe that you wouldn't see this bill as a means to that end. Same for Cap and Trade.

Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.

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