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Robert Williams

The high cost of Obamacare

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What the liberals trying to foist this upon us do not want us to know.

 

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Americans must understand: ObamaCare equals HillaryCare; same poison, different bottle.

 

Back when HillaryCare was under consideration by Congress, I was minority staff director of the congressional Joint Economic Committee. I co-authored a report titled "A Billion Dollars a Day," referring to the true cost (i.e., after all the unrealistic assumptions were discounted) of President Clinton's plan to nationalize health care and turn it over to Hillary to run. Congress rejected HillaryCare, in part because the price tag was so astronomical.

 

Fifteen years later, a new president and a new Congress, this one controlled by the president's party, are trying once again to turn health care over to the government to run.

 

Depending upon which estimate one accepts, the Obama program is projected to cost between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion during the first ten years of operation. That works out to an average annual cost of $100 billion to $150 billion, or somewhere between $274 million and $411 million a day.

 

What's wrong with this picture? The Obama administration has set its aim just as high as the Clinton administration, and yet this estimate is only 27 percent to 41 percent of what we projected HillaryCare would cost. The Obama figure is even more eye-popping when one factors in the inflation we have had in the intervening 15 years.

 

According to the special Consumer Price Index that measures medical inflation, the cost of health care has gone up by 80 percent since HillaryCare was on the table. The billion dollars a day our report projected in 1993 would amount to $1.8 billion a day in 2009, or $658 billion a year - $6.6 trillion for the first decade. And that does not take population growth into consideration.

 

How on earth can the Obama administration claim it is going to restrain the cost of nationalizing 17 percent of the U.S. economy? First, much of the increased cost will be forced on workers and their employers surreptitiously through mandates and regulations that keep the cost from showing up in the federal budget - call it AIG accounting.

 

Second, administration officials speak sonorously of "cost control." One of the "cost-containment" schemes the president spent a lot of time talking about in his AMA speech is centralizing and computerizing health information. Yet, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that health-information technology as provided for in the recently enacted stimulus bill would reduce health-care spending by only about 0.3 percent. Therefore, the main source of cost savings will have to be direct rationing of health care through an innocuous-sounding concept called "comparative effectiveness research" - which will allow bureaucrats to delay and deny care on the grounds it is not "effective" - and indirect rationing through squeezing the reimbursement of doctors and hospitals.

 

One thing we learned from the Medicare experience is that the original estimates of radical new government programs are vastly understated because of government's inability to control program costs and the impossibility of imposing price controls (by whatever name) on an entire economy-wide industry. But price controls and spending caps it will be, just as it would have been with HillaryCare, followed by health-care rationing, just as it has been with Medicare. And although these bureaucratic machinations will harm people, they won't appreciably hold down costs.

 

At its inception in 1966, Medicare cost $3 billion a year. At that time, the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives projected "conservatively" that the program would cost approximately $12 billion a year by 1990. In 1990, the cost of Medicare was actually $107 billion - nine times greater than the Ways and Means estimate.

 

One might argue that no matter the price tag, it would be worth it to achieve universal health-care coverage. But will Obama & Co. actually achieve this Holy Grail? Not even close. According to the CBO, even assuming Congress enacts an individual health-care mandate (i.e., a requirement that everybody in the United States obtain insurance), somewhere between a fourth and a third of the uninsured still would not have coverage.

 

It may be impossible to project the cost of next-gen HillaryCare with precision (although I am willing to bet it will come in at about a trillion dollars a year). But one thing we can say with confidence is that the Obama administration's current estimates are so far askew from historical experience, so at variance with past estimates for similar programs, and based on so many dodgy assumptions that they are quite simply unbelievable.

- Lawrence A. Hunter is former staff director of the congressional Joint Economic Committee and currently a senior fellow at Americans for Prosperity and president of the Social Security Institute.

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Like I said before:

 

Show each and every single assumption upon which such a plan would depend...

 

all cost assumptions per procedure, per disease, per trauma case, and include assumptions in forecasting such statistics including population growth, number of diagnoses, growth rate assumptions included in these forecasts and where they come from.

 

Show all assumptions related to what care an individual would receive, including all limitations and "cost cutting" assumptions... that should be a barrel of laughs.

 

Show the assumptions used in modeling the funding for the beast.

 

Best of all, have independent parties AUDIT all such details to judge the realism of the assumptions upon which such a bill is based.

 

And do this FOR EVERY SUCH BILL on this subject...

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You act like this is the first time a huge bill has been pushed through without every tiny aspect of it reviewed and investigated by the public. Stop whining and accept this is the way of things in a Constitutional Republic. You elect reps to do this kind of thing. Once they are safely elected and in office your job is to sit down, shut up and get back to work. Not demand that every little question you have be answered to your satisfaction. This is not a direct democracy as a certain person has reminded us over and over again.

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View PostLike I said before:

 

Show each and every single assumption upon which such a plan would depend...

 

all cost assumptions per procedure, per disease, per trauma case, and include assumptions in forecasting such statistics including population growth, number of diagnoses, growth rate assumptions included in these forecasts and where they come from.

 

Show all assumptions related to what care an individual would receive, including all limitations and "cost cutting" assumptions... that should be a barrel of laughs.

 

Show the assumptions used in modeling the funding for the beast.

 

Best of all, have independent parties AUDIT all such details to judge the realism of the assumptions upon which such a bill is based.

 

And do this FOR EVERY SUCH BILL on this subject...

 

Well said. Caveat Emptor certainly applies here, especially with the price tag being astromnomical. I think people who have been so vocally opposed to increased spending during the last 8 years would be foaming at the mouth and howling at the moon over this, but oddly, no.

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View PostYou act like this is the first time a huge bill has been pushed through without every tiny aspect of it reviewed and investigated by the public. Stop whining and accept this is the way of things in a Constitutional Republic. You elect reps to do this kind of thing. Once they are safely elected and in office your job is to sit down, shut up and get back to work. Not demand that every little question you have be answered to your satisfaction. This is not a direct democracy as a certain person has reminded us over and over again.

 

I'm gonna go ahead and toss out this little idea:

 

If bills are deemed by the public to not be good ideas, then the public has the right to tell the reps that they elect or represent them to not pass the bills in question.

 

Our job is not to just ignore it, sit down and shut up, and get back to work. We have the right to demand that every little question regarding something of this size and complexity and no one is under any obligation to satisfy you or anyone else to simply disappear and accept a potential disaster falling into their laps.

 

What is the problem with dissecting such a bill, with every available bit of economic, financial, statistical and mathematical insight we have available to us, to simply find out if such a bill will actually deliver on any promises made by the sponsors?

 

What is the problem with approaching ANY piece of legislation in this manner?

 

What the hell is the problem with evaluating a monster like this for actual efficacy?

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View PostIf bills are deemed by the public to not be good ideas, then the public has the right to tell the reps that they elect or represent them to not pass the bills in question.

 

 

Then tell your rep. Then sit down and shut up. They are the professionals. You are the guy who voted for them. If you want more that that level of involvement then it's up to you to find out. It's not up to them to convince every single American of the value of the plan. That's how the game is played in a Constitutional Republic.

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View PostThen tell your rep. Then sit down and shut up. They are the professionals. You are the guy who voted for them. If you want more that that level of involvement then it's up to you to find out. It's not up to them to convince every single American of the value of the plan. That's how the game is played in a Constitutional Republic.

 

 

Well....then all hell will continue to break loose. The more we get pushed around by this crap, the more we will just push back. Nice little circle jerk we have going now.

 

I hope at some point we can as a country figure this out so MOST people will come away satisfied with the Reform.......

 

Right now it feels a lot like us vs them, and vice versa, which is stupid.

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View PostThen tell your rep. Then sit down and shut up. They are the professionals. You are the guy who voted for them. If you want more that that level of involvement then it's up to you to find out. It's not up to them to convince every single American of the value of the plan. That's how the game is played in a Constitutional Republic.

 

Um, no. I'm not going to sit down and shut up after telling my rep what I think. If you choose to do that, be my guest.

 

The bill directly affects myself, yourself, and every damned person here, so the details as much as some might want to overlook them are pretty damned important.

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One issue I have is something I heard Arlen Specter talk about in one of his recent Town Hall meetings.

 

A person asked about thier ability to KEEP the option of private insurance, and Arlene kind of beat around the bush by saying that if you have provate insurance at your CURRENT job, and are happy with it, you can keep it.

 

What the person was trying to ask though, was what happens if I change jobs? Will I still have an option for a different private plan.....which he never would answer.

 

Anyone have the answer yet? I guess in the bill, it says no NEW private options will be made? So the Government will form a Monopoly on Health Care?

 

These are some of the issues bugging me.

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View PostWhat the person was trying to ask though, was what happens if I change jobs? Will I still have an option for a different private plan.....which he never would answer.

 

 

That will depend on if your new employer offers a plan I suppose. Why not read through and get the answer for yourself? It's not his job to satisfy every little question one constituent has.

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View PostThe bill directly affects myself, yourself, and every damned person here, so the details as much as some might want to overlook them are pretty damned important.

 

 

Then trust that your representative is doing his or her job. That's how it's done in a Constitutional Republic. If every elected official had to satisfy every silly question of every constituent they would never get anything done. If you don't like how your rep handled himself on this issue then replace him next time he comes up for election. That's how the game is played. Unless you want to switch to direct democracy.

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View PostIt is if he wants that vote. And theyre hoors for votes.

 

That's exactly right. They are our representatives and the ones that want re-elected (That's around 100 percent of them) take the opinions and concerns of their constituents very seriously. Write them letters, e-mails, call, attend protests, write editorials. Enough voter outrage can get these clowns to change their mind about how much they really want to support bad legislation that will likely cost them their job.

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View PostWrite them letters, e-mails, call, attend protests, write editorials. Enough voter outrage can get these clowns to change their mind about how much they really want to support bad legislation that will likely cost them their job.

 

 

Yes. That is your right. But stop crying that they haven't sat down with each and every one of you and explained all the little details to you so you feel warm and fuzzy about it. That isn't their job. If you want to make that a requirement of their job then you'd best get ready to quit your jobs and spend lots of time camped out at their offices. They have a lot of bills go past them and you will need to spend quite a bit of time having your hand held.

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View PostYes. That is your right. But stop crying that they haven't sat down with each and every one of you and explained all the little details to you so you feel warm and fuzzy about it. That isn't their job. If you want to make that a requirement of their job then you'd best get ready to quit your jobs and spend lots of time camped out at their offices. They have a lot of bills go past them and you will need to spend quite a bit of time having your hand held.

 

 

I see....so now we aren't ALLOWED to ask questions?

 

I told you what was in the bill, and it's unclear, WHICH IS WHY PEOPLE HAVE QUESTIONS. You Libs are ******....it's worthless talking to you. Ask a question politely, and get some assey answer back....F that.

 

I hope this bill never passes, you deserve NOTHING imo. Frigging elitest tools wanting freebies. It's like snotty people on welfare...GG.

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