December 20, 2009

HEALTH CARE BILL

More summaries on the health care bill:

Yuval Levin:

The CBO assessment of the bill tells the appalling story. We are going to raise taxes by half a trillion dollars over the next ten years, increase spending by more than a trillion dollars, cut Medicare by $470 billion but use that money to fund a new entitlement rather than to fix Medicare itself, bend the health care cost curve up rather than down, insert layers of bureaucracy between doctors and patients, and compel and subsidize universal participation in a failed system of health insurance rather than reform or improve it. Indeed, this bill will make it exceedingly difficult to fix our health insurance financing system in the future, since it sucks dry the potential means of such reform but leaves the fundamental cost problem essentially untouched (and in some respects worsened.)

Kim Strassel:

So why the stubborn insistence on passing health reform? Think big. The liberal wing of the party—the Barney Franks, the David Obeys—are focused beyond November 2010, to the long-term political prize. They want a health-care program that inevitably leads to a value-added tax and a permanent welfare state. Big government then becomes fact, and another Ronald Reagan becomes impossible. See Continental Europe.

The entitlement crazes of the 1930s and 1960s also caused a backlash, but liberal Democrats know the programs of those periods survived. They are more than happy to sacrifice a few Blue Dogs, a Blanche Lincoln, a Michael Bennet, if they can expand government so that in the long run it benefits the party of government.


Posted by: Sarah at 09:23 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 cut Medicare by $470 billion but use that money to fund a new entitlement rather than to fix Medicare itself

I find it sad that conservatives criticize one socialist program by saying that it hurts another socialist program. Even Kristol didn't dare to criticize the third rail (via an earlier post of yours):

So less access and lower quality is a very real possible consequence of this legislation [due to reductions in Medicare spending]. This is a point critics of the bill cannot allow to be lost in all the hubbub.

If even Republicans dread Medicare cuts, who will cut it?

If any Republican gives the slightest hint of reforming Medicare, the Democrats immediately smirk and ask, “So you’re going to cut Medicare?” The Republican instantly swears eternal allegiance to never cutting Medicare.

Medicare will be cut all right, but by the domestic and international bond markets who are currently financing it, not Congress or Obama.

Posted by: Amritas at December 23, 2009 08:06 PM (dWG01)

2 I like how the comments bar on the right fails to distinguish italic for nonitalic text. Right now it says,

"Amritas cut Medicare by $470 billion"

If only I had such power!

John T. Reed proposed that

All government health care programs should be ended including Medicare, Medicaid, VA [even VA!? - but see below], Congress, and so on. Why? The government does not have enough money to pay for Medicare and Medicaid. They have enough money to pay for the VA and Congress, but those are unfair to the taxpayers. The VA should only pay for line-of-duty veteran injuries or illnesses, not all veteran medical care [so I guess he wants to mend, not end VA]. The government is even more inefficient—far more inefficient—than insurance companies and private hospitals.

People should pay for procedures other than major ones out of their own pocket. That is how we handle other necessities like food, clothing, cars, pets, farm animals, and shelter. It will result in the lowest costs because when people pay out of their own pocket, they shop around for the best prices thereby triggering downward competitive pressures on prices. The current high cost problem stems from costs being paid by people other than the patients. The system I am advocating is approximately the way Americans got health care in the 1950s, early 1960s, and before. It was not the intolerable disaster advocates of Obama care claim. I was there. So were you or your ancestors unless you emigrated here since then.

Posted by: Amritas at December 23, 2009 08:17 PM (dWG01)

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