One Trillion for Six Million? Shag Me, Baby!
0 comment Wednesday, April 30, 2014 |
Greetings. I'm trying to get a handle on Pelosi's new health care bill, but of course I haven't had time to read the bill in its entirety.
And, hells bells. Congress refused to make public the last version that floated around their hallowed halls. They said it was "too complicated" for us common folk to comprehend.
Of course, they're right. A public weigh-in on what the D.C. Einsteins are up to is ludicrous. Pipe down, people of the Sunday covered-dish-supper crowd; hush up, all you Fox & Jacobs and trailer-park people. Government knows best.
Besides, Pelosi's bill weighs in at some 1,990 pages. Delving into this behemoth is way too daunting a prospect. Stacked end to end, I think it's longer than my bed.
But here are some key points that give me pause:
* According to the independent Congressional Budget Office ("CBO'"), Pelosi's plan will cost $1.05 trillion.
* Pelosi says her plan will cost $894 billion.
But there's no need to get persnickety here. What's a billion among friends? $1.05T vs. $894B is close enough for government work.
* Pelosi's plan claims to cover 36 million Americans who do not now have health insurance.
Alrighty then.
The Pelosi plan will spend $1 trillion to cover 36 million people.
Let's do the math:
$1T divided by 36M equals $ X.
Now, I'm no pocket-protector-wearing Ivy-League quant. But something is wrong with this picture. Very wrong, indeed. Because X would appear to be a mighty large number.
And in fact X is a whopping $27,777.77 per newly-covered person.
But wait, keep reading. Because that $27k per head looks to be significantly higher. According to the CBO, the number of folks who will sign up is more like 6 million.
* Yep. The CBO estimates that only 2% of Americans under the age of 65 would use the "public option." (At 65 it's a moot point because you're covered by Medicare).
This two percent amounts to about six million people. $1T divided by 6 million? Is $166,666.00 per person. Good God almighty.
* Half of Pelosis's trillion dollar health care bill will allegedly be paid for by Medicare cuts. But did you know that year after year, Congress abates the statutory cuts to Medicare that are already enacted into law?
So although the law may call for cuts, Congress hasn't let the cuts go through since 2003; instead it has always suspended them. The docs have a powerful lobby.
Why should we have any confidence Congress will act differently this time?
* The other half of the $1 trillion will be paid for by taxing upper-income earners.
But guess what? You don't have to be an Ayn Rand acolyte to realize that when people are overtaxed, they stop working as hard. Or, they might hire a more expensive accountant.
* And here's a nugget for you: No state will be eligible for any federal "malpractice reform" funds under Pelosi's bill if the state's laws put any limits on attorney compensation or damage awards in malpractice cases.
This is completely nonsensical. Without capping attorney's fees or damages, what is malpractice reform then, anyway? And what about existing statutory malpractice caps? Will the states be forced to repeal them in order to get funding for alternatives to malpractice litigation?
* When Obama said "our plan" doesn't cover abortions, he wasn't referring to the plan being circulated by Congress. No, he meant his own plan -- a plan that has never been written. The point here is not where you stand on government-funded abortion. It's the Administration's slipperiness.
All I'm asking is that he speak truthfully, with no more hair-splitting, "what is the meaning of 'is'?" semantics.
* There is a serious question whether a federal requirement that every person purchase health insurance is even constitutional.
And if it is unconstitutional, what then? As Ann Althouse points out, what will we do, unravel the massive unweildy plan? At that point, all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put the existing system back together again.
And no, a health insurance mandate is not, despite what you've heard, the same as requiring automobile insurance. Not at all.
First of all, automobile insurance laws require that you carry insurance to pay the other guy's damages, not your own. Second, it's not actually mandatory. If you choose not to drive a car, you don't have to buy it.
Invariably the auto insurance analogy is raised by the Dems whenever some rational person points out that the penalty assessed against those who don't buy health insurance is a tax. "No! No!" they adamantly reply. "It's no different that requiring auto insurance." Ha.
This is the worst justification for mandated health insurance that I've seen yet.
* When Obama says "our plan" won't cover illegal aliens? Well, maybe, maybe not. It's not well-settled law at this point. But there's no question that children of illegal aliens who are born here must be covered by the plan, just as they have right to attend U.S. schools.
In short, the Democrats' claims are so wobbly, and sometimes so blatantly false, that I have no trust or confidence in this new 2000-page Pelosi plan.
And tempted as I am to launch into a long and boring discussion of Congress's powers under Commerce Clause, suffice it to say its powers are limited.
Instead I'll close with these must-read links:
"The Worst Bill Ever" -- an excellent and thorough editorial in today's Wall Street Journal.
Pelosi Plan Makes Millions of People Pay Fines -- a sourced analysis by the Heritage Foundation.
"We're Governed by Callous Children" by Peggy Noonan.