According to the Congressional Budget Office, the House Democrat's health care proposal will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of a trillion dollars over ten years. A Congressional staffer told Michelle Malkin that much of this cost will kick in five years from now. This is also being reported by Fox News and other news outlets.
In fact, if you study the proposal, you can see why and what it means is that the one trillion dollar number over ten years is misleading. In fact, most of the bill doesn't kick in until 2013. In that year, Medicare expands to anyone making 400% of the poverty line. Medicaid kicks in to anyone making 133% of the poverty line. Also, in that year, individuals will be mandated to have health insurance. Anyone without health insurance will be fined. Furthermore, all businesses will be forced to provide health care in that year at risk of fine.
So, the reason that the cost go up so much in the last five years is because this bill really only kicks in starting in 2013. The CBO didn't have a year by year breakdown of the costs but I'd venture to guess that 2010-2013 won't have many costs. That means the one trillion dollars will really be spent mostly over seven years.
The presentation of this bill is both sensible and misleading. It's sensible in that no overhaul this dramatic should start immediately. Everyone needs to be given time to prepare. It's misleading because we shouldn't then look at the costs over ten years. In 2010, 2011, and 2012, the costs will be near zero. That's because the bill will have negligible effect in those years. That puts the costs of the bill at near $150 billion yearly. That of course assumes the costs won't go up down the road. The tax increases the Democrats propose will provide an extra $50 billion yearly at best. They have no answer as to where the rest will come from. That means it will be financed. As such, we are looking at adding an extra $100 billion yearly to our deficit for their health care plans.
Here's the reality. There are simply not enough rich people around to pay for the sort of health care expansion that the Democrats want. So, either, it will be paid for with medical cuts elsewhere, higher taxes on other people, or it's financed. That is something that will soon become clear to everyone, and that's why I believe the sort of health care reform that the president wants will be rejected.
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