What Will Obama's "New??? Healthcare Proposal Cost?

Yesterday’s release of the “new” White House version of Obama’s healthcare plan will — according to the Obama administration — somehow reduce the deficit by $100 billion over ten years.

But the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says it’s not possible to verify those claims.

Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf announced late yesterday that  there was not enough detail in the proposal released by the White House to produce a cost analysis. 

The President claims his plan would cost a trillion dollars yet would somehow magically reduce the deficit by $100 billion over the next ten years.

According to the CBO director it’s not possible for his office to verify those claims.

“[Yesterday] morning the Obama Administration released a description of its health care proposal, and CBO has already received several requests to provide a cost estimate for that proposal,” Elmendorf said.  “We had not previously received the proposal, and we have just begun the process of reviewing it — a process that will take some time, given the complexity of the issues involved. Although the proposal reflects many elements that were included in the health care bills passed by the House and the Senate last year, it modifies many of those elements and also includes new ones. Moreover, preparing a cost estimate requires very detailed specifications of numerous provisions, and the materials that were released [yesterday] morning do not provide sufficient detail on all of the provisions. Therefore, CBO cannot provide a cost estimate for the proposal without additional detail, and, even if such detail were provided, analyzing the proposal would be a time-consuming process that could not be completed this week.”

House Republican Leader John Boehner pointed out that the Republican plan has been online for months and has a stellar CBO score.

“On Thursday, the White House will stage a taxpayer-funded ‘bipartisan summit’ during which the starting point for discussion will be a new health care plan that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says it cannot even analyze due to a lack of detail,” Boehner said.  “House Republicans posted our alternative health care bill online months ago — and the Congressional Budget Office has not only analyzed it, but confirmed that it would lower health care premiums by as much as 10 percent for American families and small businesses.  The Republican bill will achieve this goal without job-killing tax hikes, without unconstitutional mandates on individuals, without cuts in Medicare benefits, without setting up a vast new federal bureaucracy, and without replacing Americans’ current health care with government-run care.”

If Democrats were actually seeking to reform health care, they might give the Republican plan a look.  This is not about health care; it’s about government control of our lives.

Mirroring the House and Senate-passed bills, this latest rendition of Obamacare does nothing to address tort reform that would reign in junk lawsuits against doctors and hospitals.  When asked by Gallup in a recent survey, physicians estimated that 21 percent of everything they do (i.e., ordering unnecessary tests) is designed to fend off the possibility of a lawsuit. 

Rep. Tom Price, M.D. (R-Ga.), an orthopedic surgeon and Chairman of the Republican Study Committee, estimates the practice of defensive medicine could amount to as much as 26 percent of all health care spending.

“Defensive medicine isn’t an abstract notion, and it could be responsible for more than $650 billion in unnecessary health care spending every single year,” Price said.  “If 26 cents out of every dollar a widget maker spent was aimed at preventing abusive lawsuits, you’d see the cost of widgets skyrocket, too. Common sense tells us the status quo must change. Rising costs are the single biggest concern most Americans have about health care.”
The President’s proposal also fails to address another of the largest factors in the rising cost of health insurance premiums:  dropping barriers to the purchase of health insurance across state lines.  Government-imposed competition is a fallacy designed to run insurance companies out of business in order to facilitate the government takeover of health care.
The proposal does include broad new powers for federal price fixing for insurance premiums that would merely compound the problem of cost.

The President’s plan fixes the tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans by exempting everyone for paying the tax until 2018.  It also “fixes” the Cornhusker Kickback by broadly expanding the new federal subsidies for Medicaid to all states.

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a taxpayer advocacy group that opposes tax increases, found $738 billion in tax increases in the proposal.

Obama also ratchets up federal funding for abortion on demand through credits for abortion insurance and through the expansion of Community Health Center funding.

“If all of the President’s changes were made, the resulting legislation would allow direct federal funding of abortion on demand through Community Health Centers, would institute federal subsidies for private health plans that cover abortion on demand (including some federally administered plans), and would authorize federal mandates that would require even non-subsidized private plans to cover elective abortion,” Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, said in a written statement.

Bottom line, the President’s scheme substantially raises taxes, obliterates states’ rights, funds abortion on demand with tax dollars, destroys America’s private health care system, forces individuals and employers to buy government-approved health insurance all the while delegating to the IRS the power to enforce compliance.

What’s not to love?