Friday, April 23, 2010
"Health Overhaul To Increase Nation's Tab"
"Health Overhaul To Increase Nation's Tab" --that's the headline from the Associated Press' Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar detailing a study from the Department of Health and Human Services that shows that Obamacare will raise costs while hurting Medicare. How could a program do both--raise costs and cut services? Simple: The bill adds as many as 34 new million people to the rolls, while transferring money from existing Medicare programs. Here's an excerpt of the AP story:
The analysis also found that the law falls short of the president's twin goal of controlling runaway costs, raising projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years. That increase could get bigger, however, since the report also warned that Medicare cuts in the law may be unrealistic and unsustainable, forcing lawmakers to roll them back.
The mixed verdict for Obama's signature issue is the first comprehensive look by neutral experts.
In particular, the warnings about Medicare could become a major political liability for Democratic lawmakers in the midterm elections. The report projected that Medicare cuts could drive about 15 percent of hospitals and other institutional providers into the red, "possibly jeopardizing access" to care for seniors.
The Obama administration, of course, sought to distance these findings by their own HHS staffers, but just as obviously, the talk about controlling costs--however sincere it might have been from some Obamacare advocates--was ultimately a sucker's game.
But as with Charlie Brown and the football, some folks never seem to figure out that they are getting snookered.
Posted by James P. Pinkerton at 9:26 AM