Democrats in Fantasyland on Health Care Reform
However, the Office of the Chief Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has assessed the bill’s effects, and it has concluded that the bill would bend the cost curve up -- raising costs in relation to projections under current law and raising the percentage of the gross domestic product spent on health care from 17 percent today to 21 percent by the end of 2019. And while the CBO hasn’t assessed the bill’s impact on overall health costs, it has concluded that, by 2016, the average American family’s insurance premiums would rise by $2,100 per year in the individual market in relation to the costs that they pay today. Thus, under ObamaCare, Americans would get to pay higher taxes, higher premiums, and higher overall health costs -- a sort of triple crown of health care expenditures.
The Democrats’ illusion that their proposed health care overhaul would somehow improve -- or would even not exacerbate -- the dire financial challenges posed by Medicare is a third area in which they are having serious trouble separating fact from fiction. On Fox News Sunday, Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar said, “Medicare is going in the red by 2017. We had to get something done.” That “something” would be to siphon $1 trillion out of Medicare (and related programs) and spend it on ObamaCare. The notion that this would strengthen Medicare, which is about to confront the baby boomers’ retirement, is, of course, fantasy. The CBO highlights that ObamaCare could “reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care” for Medicare beneficiaries. In truth, Medicare is perhaps the last place in America to look for money to spend elsewhere, and looting from it to fund ObamaCare is the height of fiscal irresponsibility.
The Democrats’ claims about the effects of ObamaCare on deficits, health costs, and Medicare do not survive the analysis of the CBO, the assessment of the CMS Chief Actuary, or the exercise of common sense -- but they are alive and well in Democratic circles. They likely would have suffered the same fate as Cinderella’s carriage at midnight, if only they had lasted beyond the stroke of noon. The Democrats are still determined to turn their pumpkin into law, but it will be the American people who will ultimately decide its fate -- along with the fate of a president and a Congress who are determined to force the American people to bend to their will.
And that makes Tomorrowland sound like a much more attractive place.