Health care bill does not add up
#595 March 21, 2010
COLUMBUS: Tonight America witnessed history in the making. As Speaker Pelosi said, "Health care has now joined Social Security and Medicare as a human right." She went on to say that this reform bill would save taxpayers over a hundred Billion dollars by 2020.
What she should have added was a promise to write a personal check in 2020 to cover any deficit in that prediction. If the economics of Health Care turn out as successful as Social Security and Medicare, she had better have a huge bank account.
President Obama and the Democratic leaders mean well. They are lawyers, not accountants. They know reading and writing, but not arithmetic. I hope I’m wrong, but their numbers just don’t add up. The President says this bill will create the "biggest surplus ever", and that health costs will "go down 3000 percent."
For better health care what we need is more doctors and nurses. What we get is 20,000 more IRS agents in Washington to make sure we all buy the right insurance policy. (The Capital architect has a spacious area picked out along the Mall for a 20-story building for them.)
We’ll get fewer doctors and nurses because their salaries are cut. The 5 million uninsured because of pre-existing conditions will be covered (that’s great!), and the other 300 million will pay more (no surprise). Funding for Medicare goes down, costs for Medicaid goes up.
You may wonder why I’m telling you all these details. Well, Speaker Pelosi published the 2000-page bill on Thursday and told everyone to read it by Sunday. And I know that between watching college basketball and filling out your brackets, no one had time to even get to page 10. Even Congress didn’t read it. Congressman Kucinich traded his vote for a plane ride. Mr. Stupak of Michigan, a fine God-fearing man, swapped his vote for a promise to not fund abortions on Sunday. Probably another two hundred got something in the deal so don’t be surprised if a new bridge or dam or airport shows up in your district.
See, I could have told you about basketball and who made it to the Sweet 16. But you already know that news, so my role this week is to fill you in on the shenanigans in Congress.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
"A Senator [and a Congressman] learns to swap his vote at the same age a calf learns which end of his mother is the dining room." DT #1123, March 2, 1930
"The trouble with the Democrats has been that they have been giving the people ‘What they thought they ought to have,’ instead of ‘what they wanted.’" Saturday Evening Post, March 30, 1929
"Us Democrats just seem to have an uncanny premonition of sizing up a question and guessing wrong on it. It almost makes you think sometimes it is done purposely." Saturday Evening Post, Jan. 19, 1929