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The True Cost of Health Care Reform

January 21, 2011

We have heard countless arguments about the true cost of Health Care Reform from both Republicans and Democrats this past week, mostly revolving around cost.

Rep: Obamacare will cost too much!                  Dem: The CBO says it saves money!

Whose correct?  At first glance you might say, “well the Congressional Budget Office is non-partisan and they do the homework, so the Democrats must be right.”  Tempting, but you would  have to declare yourself incorrect after examining the CBO report.  As Charles Krauthammer points out in his recent article, “Why Everything Starts with Repeal”, the CBO is required to assume all costs and tax increases for the next ten years, do the simple arithmetic, and show the difference.  That being the case, here is the truth:  By adding 32 Million people to subsidized health insurance from 2014-2020, it will cost $540B.  However, by raising taxes from 2010-2020, it will raise $770B, leaving an excess of $230.  Is that really saving money?

That would be like taking out a loan today for $70k to buy a car three years from now that only costs $30k, and can only be driven for six years, then telling everyone you saved $40k on buying a new car.  It’s irresponsible, intellectually dishonest, and dangerous for a U.S. treasury that’s already in the whole $13 trillion.

Without using any of the numbers it just doesn’t make sense that we would add millions more people to subsidized insurance, and think we are going to save money on that deal. It’s also naive to think that Congress won’t immediately spend any access money on pork projects and other legislation.  Not to mention the negative effects of raising taxes drastically to cover this cost in an already devastated economy.  This will kill jobs.  To look at this situation honestly and to say that were going to be saving money is simply to deny common sense and Congress’s track record of being able to spend money responsibly.   You cannot spend money to save money.

There are a myriad of reasons to support repealing Obamacare.  The massive federal power grab, the insurance mandate, the bureaucracy, loss and shortage of doctors, lack of quality care, health care rationing, etc.  But when it comes to the cost, there should be no argument.  Obamacare will cost more and will hurt the economy with the massive tax increases needed to pay for it.

We can all agree that changes need to be made in the industry, but this isn’t it.  The American people have spoken time and time again for a different direction.  I certainly hope the Republicans and those that Democrats that follow will be successful in repealing (or defunding), then replacing with free-market, common sense approaches that don’t raise taxes and grow our economy through competition.  That’s how you become prosperous while increasing access to health care.


7 Comments leave one →
  1. Jim permalink
    January 21, 2011 9:22 pm

    The media has focused all of the attention on the House repeal of Obamacare but completely ignores the replace bill in the works yesterday. A health care overhaul bill doesn’t need 2000 pages when only 5 pages of it contain effective ideas. We can save all kinds of money by keeping the illegals out of the ER, allowing people to buy insurance accross state lines, letting people purchase insurance for services they need, just to name a few ideas to start. Some things might happen, others, probably not.

    Editing note: Your use of the word “whole” should be “hole” like the one Obama is financially putting us in.

    • January 22, 2011 7:46 pm

      your right Jim. Just today I heard a commentator talking on NPR about how theres no repeal plan. Actually they started on one earlier this week as you stated. Thanks for the editing note, I always get confused with that work for some reason haha. Thanks for the comment.

  2. January 23, 2011 4:53 am

    I was supportive of ObamaCare only because the country had to start with something in this direction and get something truly on the table. The Republicans really need to do a good PR job on whatever they intend to try and replace it with, because the Democrats are doing a great job of convincing people that they have nothing better.

    I think America’s got a great opportunity right now to create the best example of what health care standards could be when you compare Canada’s, Britain’s, and the U.S.’s altogether. I’m hoping the GOP doesn’t blow it by simply trying to score some “anti-Obama” political points.

  3. January 23, 2011 4:55 am

    “To look at this situation honestly and to say that were going to be saving money is simply to deny common sense and Congress’s track record of being able to spend money responsibly.”

    Amen, brother.

    • January 23, 2011 5:29 pm

      Thanks for your comments, Vern. America does have a great opportunity to create something brilliant. But everyone needs to listen to the American people. It’s been clear for a while that people do not want more government intervention in their healthcare, the simply want lower costs. Hopefully the free-market principles that can be instilled through a Republican plan will accomplish those lower costs without sacrificing quality, adding bureaucracy, or having to limit care. Thanks again!

      • January 24, 2011 5:49 pm

        I just worry sometimes that the mass public (at least the loud voice of it), is more representative of the over-emotional than the brilliant.

        … and you’re welcome. 🙂


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