Mr. President, show me the money! You said in your speech that most of the cost of your health program will come from weeding out fraud, waste, and abuse in the Medicare program. That’s great, I’ll tell you what, you find the money first and then come back to me with your plan. Oh, and by the way, the AP reported on the funny business that you guys do with the money in order to make your plan look deficit neutral. (And by the way, when has ANY Government plan been deficit neutral?)
Here is what the AP said in their fact check on the President’s speech:
“House Democrats offered a bill that thesaid would add $220 billion to the deficit over 10 years. But Democrats and Obama administration officials claimed the bill actually was deficit-neutral. They said they simply didn’t have to count $245 billion of it — the cost of adjusting so physicians don’t face big annual pay cuts. Their reasoning was that they already had decided to exempt this “doc fix” from congressional rules that require new programs to be paid for. In other words, it doesn’t have to be paid for because they decided it doesn’t have to be paid for.
The administration also said that since Obama already had included the doctor payment in his 10-year budget proposal, it didn’t have to be counted again. That aside, the long-term prognosis for costs of the health care legislation has not been good.
CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf had this to say in July: “We do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount.”
We wanted tort reform, which would, by the way, reduce cost. You’ll notice the president thought he’d sound bipartisan by saying he’d study tort reform by putting in place some test projects in individual states. That means he’ll study it and that’s about it because goodness knows he can’t afford to get the trial lawyers miffed with him. This way he can look like he’s trying to be conciliatory without actually doing it.
You also probably noticed that he’s no longer saying that you can keep what you have if you’re happy with it-period. Now he’s a little bit closer to the truth when he says that nothing will require you to change anything. What he doesn’t say is that your employer is not required to keep your coverage the way it is and if they decide to go to the public option then you are out of luck.
He also didn’t address the doctor shortage and how much worse it will get with adding millions of people and not adding a lot more doctors.
Once again, it’s those pesky facts that get in the way!