Pelosi Drops It

Nancy Pelosi today, in a closed ceremony at the Capital, released the 1,990 page House health care "reform" bill. "Reform" is in quotes because I'm not sure this really reforms anything, but rather exacerbates our current problems, along with some (hopefully unintended) consequences.

You can expect more on this but here is one fun fact: at almost 2,000 pages, H.R. 3960 (the Affordable Health Care for America Act) comes in at a cool price of HALF OF A BILLION DOLLARS per page.

Yet the assertion is that it will REDUCE the federal deficit.

Imagine, all that spending and (promised) benefits and it's actually a NEGATIVE cost.

Go figure.

I can feel the nay-sayers out there: "But the CBO scored it that way. It will reduce the deficit by $81 billion over ten years."

First of all, facing a trilling dollar plus deficit, $81 billion is nothing.

Second, and far more importantly.

If anyone reads the CBO report it says quite clearly that costs are likely substantially greater but ultimately undeterminable. In short, it acknowledges the inaccuracy of its own findings based on CBO reporting rules and the clever wording of the legislation, which skirts those rules (e.g. assuming 10 years of taxation to pay for seven years of benefits). Further, the CBO ignores the $250 billion "doc-fix" to the SGR (Sustainable Growth Rate - which determines physician reimbursement rates in Medicare through a complex statistical algorithm), which has been removed from the bill specifically to bring the ultimate (reported) cost down below $900 billion. Already, this is over and above the $81 billion in "savings." The report also says that it will increase Americans' taxes by $2.3 trillion over 20 years.

Just try to follow this logic: (1) America has an enormous problem with unfunded entitlement liabilities, (2) Congress will create a new multi-trillion dollar entitlement, (3) this will reduce the problem with entitlement spending.

Supporters of the Pelosi/Reid plan will obviously retort that I'm not considering the benefits to be had by bringing the uninsured into the risk pool via mandates; the reduction in costs to be achieved through preventive medicine when we achieve universal coverage; the possibilities of electronic medical records (already paid for through the other $800 billion package, the "stimulus"); the removal of uncompensated care and bad debt from our system; the fact that only the rich will pay because the excise tax is only on those with exorbitant incomes.

All good points, and important issues that any thinking person should raise given the stakes we are discussing. Unfortunately, for the country, the benefits touted by so many supporters are illusory, and ultimately malefic in their long-term effects..

This post is getting too long, so I will save my retort for another time, but read the language of the bill yourself, and the problems should become apparent.

The issue is obviously more complicated than I've explained it here, but if anyone can explain these apparent contradiction I would be most eager to hear from you.

Posted on April 23, 2017 by Nicola Madoc