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LATIMES: Oops!! Turns out Obama's cost cutting health plan wont save a dime


SnyderShrugged

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http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/12/obama-healthcare-reform-budget-deficit-grows.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+topoftheticket+%28Top+of+the+Ticket%29

It's probably just coincidental that bad numbers about President Obama's much-coveted healthcare legislation came out late last week when few people were paying attention.

This is the absolutely crucial healthcare reform plan that simply had to be drafted, discussed, debated, amended and passed before early August. It's supposed to cover millions more Americans and reduce the nation's soaring medical costs.

Turns out, not.

Here's a little chapter review before semester finals:

Analysts in the Obama administration's Health and Human Services Department reported Friday that the nation's $2.5-trillion annual healthcare tab will not shrink at all under the Democrats' legislative blueprint as being pushed by happy Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader in the Senate.

Instead, they said, the nation's medical costs will actually grow faster under the new bill than....

...they would if that chatty crowd of Washington spenders did absolutely nothing nada zippo about it. And even if they did pass the existing version for all that money, 24 million Americans would still remain uncovered.

"Although several provisions would help to reduce healthcare cost growth," the report said, "their impact would be more than offset through 2019 by the higher health expenditures resulting from the coverage expansions" to millions more Americans.

So there goes the cost-savings argument. And the cover-everyone plank.

Upon seeing that, some health bill proponents said, Well, spending increases of, what, maybe 7% or so weren't really too bad, even though there were supposed to be savings.

But here's the weekend's calculus on that one:

Three months ago on Sept. 9 in his urgent address to a joint session of Congress, the president argued that even a seemingly minute savings in medical expenses became huge in the long run countrywide.

Here's what he said then:

"And if we are able to slow the growth of healthcare costs by just one-tenth of 1% each year — one-tenth of 1% — it will actually reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the long term."

more at link

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You know, the path that health care reform has gone down reminds me of a Lewis Black joke....

We have a two-party system. The Democratic Party, which is a party of no ideas. And the Republican Party, which is a party of bad ideas. The way it works is, a Republican stands up and says, "I've got a really bad idea!" And a Democrat stands up and says, "And I can make it ****tier!"

That's all the past six months have been. Coming up with ****tier and ****tier ideas. I honestly believe that virtually any approach to health care would produce better results than the ****ization of systems that Congress will eventually churn out. I'd happily take either single-payer or some sort of streamlined free-market proposal over the kinda-sorta-public-plan-but-not-really-plus-quasi-Medicare-for-some-but-we'll-still-have-millions-of-uninsured-and-haven't-fixed-any-costs legislation that's now being written by some staffer with lobbyists from twenty different PACs fighting over the pen.

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Not sure whats going on anymore.

I think the Senate screwed this up and dropped the Universal coverage in order to drop the Medicare eligibility to 55 and maybe lower numbers.

Medicare is in mortal danger as is, and over the last few years we were talking 75?

Now, 55 is millions more people and thus a massive increase in cost there.

while reducing cost by?

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I dont think the new CBO numbers have been released yet (for the senate bill with all it's bells and whistles)

I definitely could be wrong though, I'll see if I can find out for sure.

Looks like the big difference is the new thing about Medicare covering some people between 55 and 64... here is a more balanced article about this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/12/health/policy/12health.html

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How is this different from CBO's numbers and why.

I assume you're referring to the CMS actuary's estimates, which aren't positive. In a nutshell, the CBO is supposed to be a non-partisan entity, while CMS is a member of the executive branch.

In any event, actuaries are actuaries. They're driven by math, not politics, so these numbers just represent another actuary's estimates.

Note, the CMS actuary's estimates for the cost of Part D were significantly higher than the CBO estimates.

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Can we stop calling it "Obama's" plan? Obama didn't come up with a plan, just some broad outlines. This is congress' plan, which is a combination of the gutless wonders on the Dem's side and the obstructionists on the Rep's side leading to something that isn't going to make anyone happy with it. I wish Obama did define a plan. Maybe then we'd get some useful reform going. Instead, everyone is either gutless or bought and paid for by the insurance industry.

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I assume you're referring to the CMS actuary's estimates, which aren't positive. In a nutshell, the CBO is supposed to be a non-partisan entity, while CMS is a member of the executive branch.

In any event, actuaries are actuaries. They're driven by math, not politics, so these numbers just represent another actuary's estimates.

Note, the CMS actuary's estimates for the cost of Part D were significantly higher than the CBO estimates.

I understand the difference between the CBO and the DHHS... I was trying to understand the source of differences in estimates.

Unfortunately SS tends to post crap. It would be nice if he at least tried to present quality information... anyways, I think the NY Times article did a pretty good job of explaining the situation. Maybe some day SS will do his homework himself instead of posting hit pieces and wasting other people's time. I appreciate his perspective, but I do not appreciate having to dig through :pooh:

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I understand the difference between the CBO and the DHHS... I was trying to understand the source of differences in estimates.

Unfortunately SS tends to post crap. It would be nice if he at least tried to present quality information... anyways, I think the NY Times article did a pretty good job of explaining the situation. Maybe some day SS will do his homework himself instead of posting hit pieces and wasting other people's time. I appreciate his perspective, but I do not appreciate having to dig through :pooh:

??? Andrew Malcolm has traditionally been good in his analyses??

Please explain what is "crap" that I posted.

PS (It's not my job to help you find opposing opinion)

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??? Andrew Malcolm has traditionally been good in his analyses??

Please explain what is "crap" that I posted.

PS (It's not my job to help you find opposing opinion)

I am sure you can detect a hit piece just like you can tell the difference between Obama and Bush on foreign policy.

Here is Reid's finger for you, courtesy of your own link:

6a00d8341c630a53ef01287650f343970c-800wi

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I think the NY Times article did a pretty good job of explaining the situation.

I'm not sure how these quotes from your article helped me understand the Reid plan any better:

Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, said: “This debate is not about health care. This is an ideological battle driven by the right wing of the Republican Party.”

Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan, said Republicans were stalling the health care bill because obstruction was a “cash cow” for their party.

“Their tactics fire up their base, who show their appreciation by writing checks — lots of checks,” Ms. Stabenow said in a fund-raising letter. “The donations have been pouring in. And they are using those donations to distort the truth and attack Democratic senators who support the health insurance reform bill.”

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Looks like the big difference is the new thing about Medicare covering some people between 55 and 64... here is a more balanced article about this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/12/health/policy/12health.html

Richard S. Foster, the chief actuary of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said Friday that under Mr. Reid’s bill national health spending from 2010 to 2019 would total $35.5 trillion. That is $234 billion, or 0.7 percent, more than the amount projected under current law, he added.

To help pay for coverage of the uninsured, the bill would impose new fees on health insurance companies and manufacturers of brand-name prescription drugs and medical devices. Mr. Foster said the fees would increase national health spending by $11 billion a year because the fees “would generally be passed through to consumers in the form of higher drug and device prices and higher insurance premiums.”

So it will cost more over time (overall). and only an extra couple hundred billion more than doing absolutely nothing because:

all the devices you'll ever need to buy will cost the consumer more

And the drugs you'll need will cost the consumer more

AND all the premiums will cost the consumer more.

Well Hell, where to we sign up? :doh:

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In other words, you were speaking out of your tush and have no basis nor will to explain your weak point any further.

Something like that... I was basically saying that you ought to try and avoid posting hit pieces and maybe spend those extra 5 minutes to find a more balanced source.

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I like one of the goal's of the plan (i.e., extending coverage to the uninsured), but I don't like that it's been marketed as revenue-neutral and I don't care for the timing. Tell us it will cost more and do it when we're out of the **** storm that we're currently in.

You expect honesty from politicians?

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