Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Charles Parker: New Obamacare Costs a Tough Pill to Swallow


The Congressional Budget Office released revised numbers yesterday of the cost to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – over the first ten years.  (Please note that the CBO is generally called “non-partisan” when it leans toward Democrat proposals and is called simply “CBO” when it does not.)

To recap - President Obama had promised that it would cost “around $900 billion over ten years.”  The CBO now believes that the cost will be more like $1.76 trillion over the first ten years – nearly double the original estimate.  The problem – you see - is that the Democrats used accounting sleight-of-hand to come up with the original numbers.

In the initial rendering, the Obama administration counted ten years of revenues against only six years of expenses.  These new CBO numbers reflect actual costs for the entire ten years of implementation.    And of course – as with most things government – the $1.76 trillion number is really probably a low-ball estimate.

I guess Nancy Pelosi wasn’t kidding when she proclaimed that Congress needed to pass the bill so we could see what was in it.

And you can add to the mix that the initial roll-out of Obamacare has been a disaster. 

The administration has granted over 1,000 waivers to businesses and organizations who would be in deep trouble if the new regulations were foisted on them.  Of course, most of these waivers have gone to labor unions and other entities sympathetic to the president – but that is a column for another day.

As well, the president said, “if you like your health care plan, you keep your health care plan.”  But he also said, “…the vast majority of Americans are still going to be getting their insurance from private insurers.”  And he also said, “…no one is going to force you to leave your health care plan.”

However, some estimates note that up to 50% of businesses will opt to have their employees use the government plan – since premiums will be cheaper and Medicare reimbursements will be higher.  The deck is stacked – even as the ship is sinking.

While Republicans virtually all agree that Obamacare must be stopped and repealed (if it is not overturned by the Supreme Court first), they are divided as to who best carries the torch against it.  I personally believe that Mitt Romney’s embrace of a state-based solution to the health insurance problem aligns with the conservative principles of the 10th Amendment. 

But regardless which individual voice carries the GOP message in the Fall, the clarion call will be certain against this massive federal program and unprecedented federal control.  And these new numbers by the CBO help make the growing case against Obamacare even stronger.

5 comments:

  1. I notice that you have somehow, in your incredibly even-handed and completely unbiased reporting, failed to note the distinction that the non-partisan (as they ought to always be referred) CBO makes between gross cost and net cost. This is surely some sort of liberal "accounting sleight-of-hand" since it actually projects an increase in the net savings of the Act over the next decade.

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  2. Hi Chris. This is unashamedly biased opinion - not news reporting. There is a difference. However, the facts that were used are accurate.

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  3. Well, there are facts and there are stories told about facts. You certainly blogged about one fact, that the gross cost projected for the program had increased. You did neglect, however, to mention that the net cost of the program had decreased, in fact it appears to resort in a higher saving to the taxpayer in the long run than previously estimated. I understand that in a biased opinion piece you aren't necessarily interested in presenting facts that contradict your story but if you honestly believe in what you're saying I think your readers deserve to hear your honest opinion about the whole story - why is it that you accept and gleefully report (I'm sorry, blog) one set of numbers published by the CBO and not the other, arguably more relevant, set of numbers?

    In my mind it's about the same thing as me telling my wife that we're doing incredibly well as a family because our gross income was spectacularly high this past year while concealing the additional bit of information that our net income was less than zero. Am I doing the right thing since the facts I shared are true?

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  4. Maybe I did not connect the dots enough. There may be a "savings" because more people will be paying into the government plan - despite the promise of the president that no one's insurance would change if they didn't want it to. This is the dirty little secret of Obamacare.

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    1. Got it, trust the CBO when they support your position and ignore them when they say something you don't like. How very "liberal" of you.

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