Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Senate HELP Health Care 'Reform' Bill

Breaking news out of Washington yesterday was that the Senate HELP Committee passed a bill that will establish a new ‘public option’ for health care coverage and they are going to pay for it with surtaxes on the very-wealthy and savings in Medicare and Medicaid.

They say it is needed to cover the 44 million uninsured; we know the number of long-term uninsured is more like 24 million (see 44 Million) They say it will lower costs for health care services in America in the long-run.

“In the long-run, we will all be dead!” the noted liberal Keynesian economist John Maynard Keynes once said. At least he believed in capitalism to some extent; he died a wealthy man from his work as a financier on top of being a noted economist.

Here is a bet we are willing to make with anyone: “If this health care bill does not add up to $3 trillion in new national debt over the next decade, then we will quit writing any more commentary on Telemachus!”

That might be a relief to some of you. Unfortunately, with legislation such as this health care ‘reform’ bill running through Congress at break-neck speed, we believe we will have lots to write about for the next decade since we don’t think this bill will cost less than $3 trillion.

Here are the reasons why this health care bill will NOT be ‘paid for’ as the advocates suggest:

  1. The surtax on people making over $350,000 in income each year will be easily avoided by advice from top-notch legal and accounting professionals who have been planning for this day since the new Administration took over. *
  2. The ambiguous ‘savings’ in Medicare and Medicaid are only ‘potential’ savings from the ‘baseline’ budget (see 'Baseline') that may or may not occur. Unless the insurance companies, hospitals, physicians and patients advocate groups have signed some sort of binding legal contract (please show them to us with the ink dried) with CMS, HHS or the White House that holds them to reducing their reimbursement rates by 50% or something like that, these verbal statements made in the Rose Garden after meeting with the President are nothing but that…word vapor.
  3. There has never been any health care bill passed by Congress that has not ultimately cost 3-5 times the original CBO cost estimates for the legislation when being considered by Congress.

We don’t disagree that everyone should have access to quality health care ‘insurance’. And in fact, we have shown you how existing resources can be divvied up to provide just such a health insurance plan for everyone on an income-adjusted, sliding scale basis in the Jefferson Health Plan.

But we are terrified at the prospective costs of this new health care legislation simply because we are adding so much debt onto our federal balance sheet as it is today. (there is not an ‘official’ federal balance sheet, believe it or not) We do not think we can realistically handle another $3 trillion or more in debt to be added on top of the $11 trillion we already have obligated.

If you don’t have a problem with that prospect, then don’t do anything. Go to the beach, play golf, go to the local museum and whistle ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’.

But if you do have a problem, call, write and email your US Senator and Representative right now and tell your friends and family to do the same…the link is on the right side of this column. They say they are going to pass this monstrous bill in both houses before recessing for their August vacation break.

This is no longer a laughing matter.

* Or, when revenues do not meet expectations, the income threshold level will be lowered to tax more and more of us. Remember, initially only a few hundred thousand citizens were initially targeted to pay income taxes; now millions upon millions of us have the same pleasure.

No comments:

Post a Comment