ACRU General Counsel Peter Ferrara wrote a column appearing on BigGovernment.com on March 19, 2010.
President Obama has been barnstorming the country saying that CBO scores his health care takeover plan as reducing the deficit by over $100 billion in the first 10 years, and by almost a trillion dollars over the second 10 years. What is that based on?
Wading deep into documents available from CBO and the House and Senate Budget Committees reveals that the claim that Obamacare, in the form of the Senate health bill Democrats are now trying to deem through the House, would reduce the deficit is based on the assumption of an immediate 21% cut in payments to doctors and hospitals under Medicare. But that is just the beginning.
The growth of these payments would be arbitrarily limited over time, so this cut would effectively become bigger and bigger. For the second 10 years, the claim that Obamacare would reduce the deficit by close to a trillion dollars is based on assumed Medicare cuts over those years of over $2 trillion.
This would cause havoc and chaos in health care for America’s seniors. They would often not be able to find doctors, specialists and hospitals to provide needed health care. Most enjoying superior coverage from Medicare Advantage plans would lose that coverage, as indicated by the Chief Actuary for Medicare. Investment in new health care technology, new breakthrough medical treatments and services, and new miracle cure drugs would dry up, which has already started.
But if Congress does not allow those cuts to go into effect, Obamacare will further explode the deficit. The new CBO score regarding the House reconciliation bill does not change any of this.
America today suffers the spectacle of a President of the United States, and Democrat Congressional leadership, proclaiming to the nation that their socialized medicine plan will reduce budget deficits, based on fantastic assumptions of trillions of dollars in intractable cuts to Medicare that would leave that program unworkable in delivering health care to the America’s seniors.
Medicare already suffers an unfunded liability of $38 trillion according to Medicare’s own government actuaries. What Obama and Congressional Democrats are proposing is to loot $2.5 trillion from Medicare over the next 20 years to spend on new entitlements under Obamacare, and leave Medicare with that overwhelming unfunded liability.
In an earlier generation, when the Washington establishment enacted another health care abuse they were so certain America would love, called catastrophic coverage under Medicare, seniors protested by climbing all over the limousine motorcade of then House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski in Chicago. That led to repeal of that abuse the very next year by a Democrat controlled Congress. Just an historical note.