October 12, 2009
How to make almost a trillion $ in new spending appear to improve the deficit

The Congressional Budget Office is part of the smoke and mirrors game this time. Their finding that the Baucus Bill might add spending, but it will improve the budget deficit is nonsense. They know it; everyone knows it.

First, there is no Baucus Bill. There is a "plain-English" outline of over 200 pages. But the real bill has not been written. Semi-legible though it is now, Senate staff will turn the current into legalese to be the real bill. Of course the result will not be exactly the same. CBO must expense out the real bill, not this.

Second, CBO assumed that we will go for increased taxes on Cadillac health plans and every medical device used like sheep. They dutifully accept Baucus's assumptions about his proposed taxes being enacted and Americans going along and not changing their habits to avoid new taxes. But people always change their behavior when the incentives change. His claimed increased tax revenues are likely to be very short. But that happens with every tax increase.

Note that the tax on medical devices will be hidden somewhere in the cost stream, but such taxes are always pushed on until the end user pays it.

Third, Baucus pulled a very obvious trick. He put all the tax increases and cuts to Medicare up front - in the next two to three years. But the new benefits are delayed for three to four years. The cost estimate Congress uses is the next ten years. But this start up is not an accurate picture of a typical ten years. The increased costs are greatly understated. [Yes, I know the rules say to cost out 10 years...]

If you understate the increased costs and overstate the revenues how can you claim to have an accurate picture? This "bill" will clearly increase the deficit that Obama promised to reduce and will increase taxes that almost everyone pays.

Posted by Ron Hebron at October 12, 2009 09:32 AM | Email This
Comments
1. You Neo-cons are complaining about the Dems spending so much money, yet your boy GWB got us involved in two foreign shooting matches without a clue as to how to get them completed.

Don't get involved in a war unless you have the will and means to get it over with quickly. Don't criticize the Dems for spending when your people are wasting billions and billions on two wars that you don't have the stomach to end. It's another case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Posted by: Politically Incorrect on October 12, 2009 09:56 AM
2. Ron,
as plain language bills being reported out of Senate Finance is a rule older than most of us, were you equally outraged that SEN Grassley didn't modify the rules prior to the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (2003) when the Republicans ran the Senate?

I ask because there seems to be a lot of faux outrage about rules that were sauce for the goose, but apparently are unacceptable for the gander.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on October 12, 2009 10:24 AM
3. #1 "You Neo-cons..."

Nothing neo about me.

Posted by: Gary on October 12, 2009 10:44 AM
4. "I ask because there seems to be a lot of faux outrage about rules that were sauce for the goose, but apparently are unacceptable for the gander."

You mean like all the liberal anti-war protestors that were marching in the streets under Bush, yet we are STILL an all those wars and yet we no longer see any big anti-war protestors and the media silence is deafening.

Is THAT the kind of thing you are talking about Mikey?

Posted by: pbj on October 12, 2009 10:55 AM
5. "Don't criticize the Dems for spending when your people are wasting billions and billions on two wars that you don't have the stomach to end. It's another case of the pot calling the kettle black."

You NeoCommies don't have the sotmach to end them either apparently. Pot meet kettle.

Posted by: pbj on October 12, 2009 10:58 AM
6. Re #1 above, not only were Bush's wars damaging to our country's interests and catastrophic to thousands of our brave soldiers, they were also accompanied by blatant lies about their multi-trillion dollar costs. That wouldn't excuse deceit by the Democrats, but the quibbles Hebron raises over the CBO projections are not in that ballpark; in fact, even if all of Hebron's points were right, none of them would be relevant to the CBO's estimate.

And re #2, you are right that this is faux outrage. Your sauce for the goose/gander metaphor is too kind to Republicans. This is not a case of the Dems taking advantage of rules in a way the Reps did. Rather it's a case of having a common-sense rule to let people understand a bill rather then legalese. Republicans are just being obstructionist whiners, which is their right, but they should be seen for what they are.

Posted by: Bruce on October 12, 2009 10:58 AM
7. DEMOCRAT majority in BOTH houses AND the presidency and the NeoCommies get on here and complain about REPUBLICAN not ending the war.

SNL was right about Obama. Two accomlpishments are JACK SQUAT!

Posted by: pbj on October 12, 2009 11:01 AM
8. You can bet the time between the staffers turning the "Plain English" plan into a "Bill" will challenge the elapased time a blown nitro guzzling dragster takes to run the quarter mile.

Posted by: scott on October 12, 2009 11:06 AM
9. "not changing their habits to avoid new taxes"??

Heck, democrats do that all the time. They just don't write the check! Just ask Tim Geitner, Tom Daschle, Charley Wrangel et al....

Posted by: Michele on October 12, 2009 11:49 AM
10. GWB got us involved in two foreign shooting matches without a clue With the full support of a Democrat controlled congress.

They ALL got us in that mess, and they all need to go.

Posted by: Vince on October 12, 2009 12:00 PM
11. This is a really cute game that the GOP plays. The Republican Medicare Part D part didn't have to worry about "clever tricks" to get around revenue gaps. They didn't have to worry about their own Finance bill -- also written in plain-English -- creating fake revenue numbers. You know why? Because they had no revenues. Medicare Part D -- the GOP's sole attempt at health care during their time in power -- was pure deficit spending.

Democrats have proposed a bill that actually reduces the deficit, and now you're trying to invent excuses and find ways to paint this as somehow spending into the deficit because the CBO is lying and Baucus is lying and it's all just made up. I'm sorry, but this bill is far more deficit-responsible than any major GOP plan in the last decade. Every single GOP initiative -- from wars, to Medicare, to NCLB, to tax cuts that were supposed to make recessions impossible -- was funded by irresponsible deficit spending.

CBO must expense out the real bill, not this.

That's an odd statement to make. The CBO "must" expense this mark because the Senator asked them to. And they did "expense" it. And you're reacting to it.

The CBO doesn't have things it "must" do, by the way.

Second, CBO assumed that we will go for increased taxes on Cadillac health plans and every medical device used like sheep. They dutifully accept Baucus's assumptions about his proposed taxes being enacted and Americans going along and not changing their habits to avoid new taxes. But people always change their behavior when the incentives change.

In fact, the CBO does assume that people would change their habits. The CBO assumes they do, which is why this revenue source brings down the cost curve. Where's the GOP plan that does this?

Note that the tax on medical devices will be hidden somewhere in the cost stream, but such taxes are always pushed on until the end user pays it.

We're expanding their market by 30 million people. If the government expands your market that much, perhaps a flat excise tax isn't the worst levy in the world.

If one provider finds a cheaper way of doing something, then he can eat the tax at the cost of getting more customers. Other providers will follow. That's what market competition does.

Baucus pulled a very obvious trick. He put all the tax increases and cuts to Medicare up front - in the next two to three years. But the new benefits are delayed for three to four years. The cost estimate Congress uses is the next ten years. But this start up is not an accurate picture of a typical ten years. The increased costs are greatly understated.

And why does that matter? The first 10 years of the bill don't add to the deficit. The next 10 years after that don't add to the deficit, either. Both time frames actually reduce the deficit.

Sure, you could construct a model and analyze just a time frame where the bill has a substantial deficit -- but that isn't the bill in front of us. It's true that the revenues and savings are modest at the beginning and only increase over time, but I'm not sure why that's a problem. That means that the deficit gets smaller each year, especially after the first ten.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 12, 2009 12:44 PM
12. No one heard me say anything positive about the Medicare drug benefit or how the GOP passed it. Not one word.

If you have comments longer than the original post get your own blog.

Posted by: Ron Hebron on October 12, 2009 02:18 PM
13. That's a great substantive response to my post which decimated every poor argument you presented.

I understand you have little interest in presenting substantive and accurate arguments, but I have no problem presenting those arguments in these comments. If you need to delete my comments because they are too substantive and detailed, please feel free.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 12, 2009 02:29 PM
14. Ron@13, you've got to be kidding. You are imposing a word limit on comments that is equal to the word limit of the original post? Are you also banning comments with more intelligent ideas than the original post?

Your nastiness is especially ironic since it's directed at comment #11, which was more on point than most comments, on the left or right, on any thread on this blog.

Posted by: Bruce on October 12, 2009 02:39 PM
15. I meant to address the above remark to "Ron@12".

Posted by: Bruce on October 12, 2009 02:43 PM
16.
The backers have cooked up an extremely optimistic stew. The CBO made this abundantly clear.


Posted by: Gary on October 12, 2009 02:56 PM
17. Ron doesn't like hearing any guff from you kids and he wants you to get off his lawn!

Short enough?

Posted by: scottd on October 12, 2009 03:08 PM
18. scottd @17, both short enough and completely irrelevant to health care. I think that certainly passes muster for a great comment on health care according to Sound Politics' standards. But I wonder, isn't there some way to incorporate a mention of slavery (in reference to democrats) in your post? I mean, we do have standards here.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 12, 2009 03:19 PM
19. #18 HA! Friendly fire!

Posted by: Gary on October 12, 2009 03:22 PM
20. Now we'll see what happens when Gary gets past the first sentence.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 12, 2009 03:26 PM
21. @12 Ron Hebron on October 12, 2009 02:18 PM,

Ron, I did not ask if you had a kind word for the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (2003). I asked if you were you equally outraged that Senator Grassley and the majority of the Republicans on the Committee didn't modify the plain language rules of the Senate Finance Committee.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on October 12, 2009 04:49 PM
22. @4 pbj on October 12, 2009 10:55 AM,

"You mean like all the liberal anti-war protestors that were marching in the streets under Bush, yet we are STILL an all those wars and yet we no longer see any big anti-war protestors and the media silence is deafening.
Is THAT the kind of thing you are talking about Mikey?
"

No, that's not what I mean, because that would be an incorrect and juvenile attempt to present a point of view in contradiction to easily found facts.

FACT: Antiwar Protesters Turn Their Sights on Obama

FACT: One of the most followed LIBERAL bloggers on the internet, Glenn Greenwald posted Friday Oct. 9, 2009 07:10 EDT on Salon.com - "Obama's Nobel Peace Prize" a rather scathing and well sourced list of Obama Administration complicities with Bush on war and peace.

...But hey, don't bother to read or research. Snarky ill informed comments help build the OUTRAGE!! :-p

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on October 12, 2009 05:07 PM
23. "But people always change their behavior when the incentives change."

Ok, but Ron, you have not explained what incentives are proposed to be changing from and what the bill proposes.

What is the current marginal tax rate for employer provided "Cadillac health plans"?

What is the proposed marginal tax rate in the Baucus bill for "Cadillac health plans"?

What is the marginal tax rate for income?

Now, where are those sheep most likely to graze?
Taxes on "Cadillac health plans"?
Taxes on income?
Or shall most employees receiving "Cadillac health plans" chose to pay by accepting a total loss?

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on October 12, 2009 06:54 PM
24. Bruce@14,

You are losing your marbles. Ron commented @12, NOT @13. Liberal MORON.

Posted by: MMM MMM MMM Barack Hussein Obama on October 12, 2009 07:04 PM
25. No Bi partisan crap! We are all Americans
United we stand, take 4 minutes of your time and watch this.

It was taken inside Congress with a Congressman.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=G44NCvNDLfc

Posted by: HW on October 12, 2009 07:26 PM
26. @22 MikeBoyScout on October 12, 2009 05:07 PM,


"FACT: Antiwar Protesters Turn Their Sights on Obama"

FACT: "Hundreds" of protestors vs THOUSANDS PROTESTING WAR UNDER BUSH reveals the depth of the Neo-Commie hypocrisy. At least a factor of ten difference. The fact remains, war under Republican= bad, war under Democrat = good.

From your very own source :

"Several hundred attended a rally at McPherson Square, which was followed by a procession to the White House."


FACT: One of the most followed LIBERAL bloggers on the internet, Glenn Greenwald posted Friday Oct. 9, 2009 07:10 EDT on Salon.com - "Obama's Nobel Peace Prize" a rather scathing and well sourced list of Obama Administration complicities with Bush on war and peace.

Who the hell is Glenn Greenwald and who the hell cares?

Posted by: pbj on October 12, 2009 07:40 PM
27. @26 pbj on October 12, 2009 07:40 PM'

From the third paragraph in the link you provided of the March 21 2009 CBS article "Thousands Protest 6th Anniv. Of Iraq War"

"Arlington County, Virginia, authorities estimated there were 2,500 to 3,000 protesters"

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, eh pbj? :-D

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on October 13, 2009 04:46 AM
28. Hey, cool! Massachusetts is going to start rationing health care. Going to make residents give up their choice of hospitals and doctors.

But that would never happen with Obamacare, right?

Posted by: Gary on October 13, 2009 06:19 AM
29. This whole bill is dead anyway because the House cannot generate enough votes to override the sure Presidential veto. The President will not sign a bill that increases taxes on the middle class. How many times does he have to say it?

Posted by: Gary on October 13, 2009 06:54 AM
30. @28 Gary on October 13, 2009 06:19 AM,

That's terrible what is happening in MA.
MA needs a system that works likes that in Colorado.

Rocky Mountain Health Plans denied health insurance coverage for a Grand Junction, Colorado 4 month old infant in pre-existing condition.

"By the numbers, Alex is in the 99th percentile for height and weight for babies his age. Insurers don't take babies above the 95th percentile, no matter how healthy they are otherwise."

Because if more fat infants were denied coverage we'd be better able to afford our choice of hospitals and doctors. Neglecting the health care for families with fat infants is a small price to pay.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on October 13, 2009 07:44 AM
31. You supporters of the bill are a gullible bunch. Here are just two of the gimmicks the CBO swallowed.

The estimates don't include unfunded mandates for states, and they assume a 25% cut in physicians' payments in 2011, which will never happen.

Posted by: MOR on October 13, 2009 08:51 AM
32. @31 MOR on October 13, 2009 08:51 AM,

Interesting. What's your source for the information?

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on October 13, 2009 08:55 AM
33. Ahhhh, the CBO did their numbers on a draft (of the health care)

Not the whole bill. Which as of now. NO-ONE knows what it well cost!

Talk about bait & switch.

Posted by: Medic/Vet on October 13, 2009 09:18 AM
34. That info came from a Wall St. Journal editorial.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703746604574461121881407350.html

Interesting info here as well.

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/10/13/bait-and-switch-now-health-care-reform-wont-solve-deficit-problem/

Posted by: MOR on October 13, 2009 09:19 AM
35. Who watched this video? No Bi partisan crap! We are all Americans. This will hurt all of us.
United we stand, take 4 minutes of your time and watch this.

It was taken inside Congress with a Congressman.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=G44NCvNDLfc

Posted by: HW on October 13, 2009 09:42 AM
36. MOR, they assume a 25% cut in physicians' payments in 2011

That is not true. That is another statue, completely unrelated to this bill. You're just slightly misreading the editorial is all.

So why were people like Dan and Gary going nuts about the CBO -- saying it was the best thing ever -- when they had $1.6 trillion, $1.2 trillion, and $1 trillion estimates for various health care bills that were in progress? They're hypocrites, of course.

Just like I said at the time, those CBO estimates were used to make the bill better and bring down the total costs. I got attacked. I got beat up. Now that I'm right, the CBO is full of smoke.

Right. Let me just say that when you start arguing about process, instead of getting health care to all Americans, you've already lost.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 13, 2009 10:34 AM
37. Also, the string of Ron being wrong continues: He put all the tax increases and cuts to Medicare up front - in the next two to three years. But the new benefits are delayed for three to four years.

That's not true. The tax on expensive insurance plans does not begin until 2013.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 13, 2009 10:38 AM
38. @27 MikeBoyScout at October 13, 2009 04:46 AM,


" A mind is a terrible thing to waste, eh pbj? :-D"

Since you have wasted yours, I guess you'd know. 3000 is MORE than 300. That WEA education's "new" math program left you somewhat deficient in the numbers department.

The English department didn't do so well with you either as 3000 is certainly magnitudes greater than 300.

Posted by: pbj on October 13, 2009 11:08 AM
39. @38 pbj on October 13, 2009 11:08 AM,

Hey Brainiac! The demonstration of THOUSANDS against the war in Iraq you linked to was during the Obama administration.

How exactly does that make your point "FACT: "Hundreds" of protestors vs THOUSANDS PROTESTING WAR UNDER BUSH reveals the depth of the Neo-Commie hypocrisy. At least a factor of ten difference. The fact remains, war under Republican= bad, war under Democrat = good. "

Oh, it doesn't. It refutes it. And you just can't understand. :'-(

ps. Ignorance may be a pre-existing condition! :-D

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on October 13, 2009 11:15 AM
40. "The English department didn't do so well with you either as 3000 is certainly magnitudes greater than 300." ROTFLMFAO!! :-D

How'd I miss that gem!!

Hey PBJ, can you help us with a math question? Is '5' a subject or a predicate? :-p

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on October 13, 2009 11:29 AM
41. #36 "So why were people like Dan and Gary going nuts about the CBO -- saying it was the best thing ever "

Never have. You use the CBO as a good source for your purposes of judging bills, which is fine, so I would point out their numbers when they were really bad, and I gotta give you credit because you did oppose HR3200 when they claimed it would add to the deficit.

Of course, whatever they do will add to the deficit and suck. And I can't wait for Obama to come out and slam this Baucus thing for raising everybody's taxes.

Posted by: Gary on October 13, 2009 11:47 AM
42. @41 Gary on October 13, 2009 11:47 AM,

Why would "Obama come out and slam this Baucus thing for raising everybody's taxes"?

Don't you think he'd continue to work any issues he has with this committee's bill through the process as he has done with each of the other bills in the House and Senate so far?

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on October 13, 2009 11:58 AM
43. #42. This committee's bill is 100% DOA.

Posted by: Gary on October 13, 2009 12:05 PM
44. @43 Gary on October 13, 2009 12:05 PM,
Where do you think this bill is going to arrive to such that it dies?

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on October 13, 2009 12:09 PM
45.
Let's see... increase health care costs. Increase taxes. Leave millions un-insured. Cut $500 billion from Medicare? Sure they will.

It will get torn up while reconciling with other stupid bills.


Posted by: Gary on October 13, 2009 12:23 PM
46. Oh, and again... how is Washington State going to pay the increased Medicaid costs this reform will incur?

Posted by: Gary on October 13, 2009 12:30 PM
47. Gary, Of course, whatever they do will add to the deficit and suck.

You're predicting. You have no evidence and no data to support this assertion. We'll talk about the final product when it exists, but the President said he will not sign a bill that adds "a dime to the deficit, now or in the future." The Finance committee has produce a revenue scheme that does just that.

Oh, and again... how is Washington State going to pay the increased Medicaid costs this reform will incur?

I'm sure Tim Eyman will have an initiative just for it.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 13, 2009 01:26 PM
48. Mikey,


"The February 15, 2003 anti-war protest was a coordinated day of protests across the world against the imminent invasion of Iraq. Millions of people protested in approximately 800 cities around the world. According to BBC News, between six and ten million people took part in protests in up to sixty countries over the weekend of the 15th and 16th; other estimates range from eight million to thirty million.[1][2]"

Millions join global anti-war protests

"Demonstrators converged near the United Nations to protest the possible war in just one of the more than 600 anti-war rallies around the globe. Organizers estimated the crowd at more than 375,000"

Cities jammed in worldwide protest of war in Iraq

So Mikey - where are the MILLIONS protesting Obama's Iraq War and Obama's Afghanistan War???

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.


Posted by: pbj on October 13, 2009 01:37 PM
49. Though I will agree with you on one note, Gary. It is a shame that only one committee did the very hard work to make the bill deficit neutral. The HR3200 taxation scheme of a surtax on wealthy individuals was a stupid and unsustainable way to pay for health care reform.

I still think that it's clear that the White House wants the Finance commitee's revenue scheme. And the House may be throwing a hissy fit, but you give them a public option in some form (opt-out, probably) and you have the making of a compromise.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 13, 2009 01:40 PM
50. Of course, the naysayers and rightwing nitwits (that should probably be one word as the two terms seem inseparable) don't get it.

We already spend almost twice (read that again) TWICE the amount of the next closest country on health care and we get.....37th place (on the level of Slovenia).

Our government loses billions of dollars in this because we pay much more for drugs on our Medicare plan (thanks to the republican bill co-written by the pharmaceutical industry).

The insurance companies also have a 20% profit/overhead margin, compared to 3% for Medicare.

How are their savings? Very simply, we are wasting billions of dollars with the current system and much of it goes into the pockets of insurance companies.

What do insurance companies actually do for health? Why nothing.....they just skin opff the profits from the industry.

Posted by: correctnotright on October 13, 2009 01:43 PM
51. Of course, the naysayers and rightwing nitwits (that should probably be one word as the two terms seem inseparable) don't get it.

We already spend almost twice (read that again) TWICE the amount of the next closest country on health care and we get.....37th place (on the level of Slovenia).

Our government loses billions of dollars in this because we pay much more for drugs on our Medicare plan (thanks to the republican bill co-written by the pharmaceutical industry).

The insurance companies also have a 20% profit/overhead margin, compared to 3% for Medicare.

How are their savings? Very simply, we are wasting billions of dollars with the current system and much of it goes into the pockets of insurance companies.

What do insurance companies actually do for health? Why nothing.....they just skin off the profits from the industry.

Posted by: correctnotright on October 13, 2009 01:43 PM
52. @47,

"You're predicting. You have no evidence and no data to support this assertion. We'll talk about the final product when it exists, but the President said he will not sign a bill that adds "a dime to the deficit, now or in the future.""

The president is a know liar. He promised to "sunshine" bills wherein the public would see it 5 days before he signed it. He broke that promise when he rushed the $780 billion (non) simulus bill through.

Posted by: pbj on October 13, 2009 01:43 PM
53. pbj, The president is a know liar.

So you'd rather operate off of base and random assumptions that have no evidence of? Well, that's cute. But you're going to be wrong in a week or two, so I'm not sure why I have to take this bs at face value.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 13, 2009 01:54 PM
54. "We already spend almost twice (read that again) TWICE the amount of the next closest country on health care and we get.....37th place (on the level of Slovenia)."

First off that old liberal talking point has been shot down many many times. The WHO report is flawed due to the vast differences in the ways verious countries measure factors such as death rate. For example, in Europe in order be considered a death, a baby must survive several days before death to be counted. In the US as soon as they are born they can be counted.

Canadians must be really stupid people according to you as they come to the US, fleeing the anadian system in order to give birth.

Posted by: pbj on October 13, 2009 01:58 PM
55. pbj, Canadians must be really stupid people according to you as they come to the US, fleeing the anadian system in order to give birth.

Fleeing? Ha. It seems like they'd love to stay in Canada, except the privately-run hospitals were full. On the brighter side, it must be really nice to be transported to an entirely different nation for your health care and still not have to pay for anything out-of-pocket.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 13, 2009 02:05 PM
56. "Our government loses billions of dollars in this because we pay much more for drugs on our Medicare plan (thanks to the republican bill co-written by the pharmaceutical industry)."

Ah that old liberal talking point. Turns out it is the Democrats that are in bed with big pharma. The trade group -- the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA set aside $150 million for advertising to support of the Democrats.

Posted by: pbj on October 13, 2009 02:13 PM
57. "So you'd rather operate off of base and random assumptions that have no evidence of? Well, that's cute. But you're going to be wrong in a week or two, so I'm not sure why I have to take this bs at face value."

It is not a random assupmtion. It is a FACT that Obama rushed through the $870 billion (non) Stimulus Bill. Do you deny this fact? Obama promised that any bill would be made public 5 days prior so the publi could examine it. He outright lied.

Posted by: pbj on October 13, 2009 02:17 PM
58. "Fleeing? Ha. It seems like they'd love to stay in Canada, except the privately-run hospitals were full. "

Why were the privately-run hospitals full? What about the government run hospitals? Apparently even the Canadians know they are death traps and when the privately-run ones fill up they flee for the US.

Posted by: pbj on October 13, 2009 02:24 PM
59. pbj, did you ever hear of Medicare Part D?

The fact that he was a dirty liar about putting bills online for five days -- which is a good idea but a relatively minor good government issue -- has nothing to do with his plain commitment to a speech to America and Congress that he won't support a bill that adds to the deficit.

And in this very thread, we're talking a bill that doesn't add to the deficit.

So, you and Gary are just making things up.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 13, 2009 02:24 PM
60. Why were the privately-run hospitals full?

I don't know. US maternity wards get full, too. The difference is that in the US if you go to an out-of-network hospital or if you don't have insurance you can go bankrupt. In Canada, they'll fly you to another country and pay all your bills. Canadian health care ain't perfect, but this is hardly a doomsday scenario.

What about the government run hospitals?

The government doesn't run hospitals nor employ doctors in Canada. Who would have guessed that you don't know what you're talking about? :)

Posted by: John Jensen on October 13, 2009 02:38 PM
61. John,

So when the final bill comes up, and the CBO says it will add to the deficit, you'll be the first to say it should be voted against, right?

Right?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on October 13, 2009 02:49 PM
62.
#59 "And in this very thread, we're talking a bill that doesn't add to the deficit."

It doesn't do anything because it's DOA. Anybody can tell the CBO anything, like, "We promise we will cut $500 billion from Medicare, so please use that in your scoring."

Doesn't make it real. The CBO wasn't told to include what will happen when the feds have to bailout the states for the massive new medicaid costs they will have.

This whole thing is smoke. A box of air. A bowl of steam. It's nothing.

Posted by: Gary on October 13, 2009 02:53 PM
63. Gary, It doesn't do anything because it's DOA.

You mean, it will be the foundation of the bill that goes to the Senate floor? That's a lot different from "DOA."

Anybody can tell the CBO anything, like, "We promise we will cut $500 billion from Medicare, so please use that in your scoring."

That is not at all how the CBO works. The Finance committee says, "We're going to bundle hospital payments. How much would this detailed plan cost?" The CBO says, "Oh, how you described that in detail will save about $100 billion over ten years."

You are substantially wrong with your characterization of the CBO. Not even half right. Dead wrong. You shouldn't be taken seriously in your analysis of the CBO nor this bill.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 13, 2009 03:12 PM
64. #63, So the CBO did their analysis based on Baucus' mark?

Is that correct?

Posted by: Gary on October 13, 2009 03:33 PM
65. @60,

"The government doesn't run hospitals nor employ doctors in Canada. Who would have guessed that you don't know what you're talking about? :)"


Yes the Canadian government does run the hospitals in Canada and employs doctors.

From the Ontario Ministry of Health:

- There are 227 hospital sites. Ontario has seven private hospitals currently providing services under the Private Hospitals Act, six of which receive funding for their operations from the Ministry.

SOURCE:

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/contact/hosp/hospfaq_dt.html


I certainly would have guessed that you don't have a lue what you are talking about. ;)

Posted by: pbj on October 13, 2009 03:34 PM
66. @59,

"The fact that he was a dirty liar about putting bills online for five days -- which is a good idea but a relatively minor good government issue -- has nothing to do with his plain commitment to a speech to America and Congress that he won't support a bill that adds to the deficit."

It has EVERYTHING to do with it. Hey said before to trust him, he'd let the public see bills 5 days prior to enacting them into law. He lied.

Now again he asks us to "trust him", he won't support a bill that adds to the deficit.

He is a pathological liar. I'd sooner trust a used car salesman than Obama.

Posted by: pbj on October 13, 2009 03:38 PM
67. And pbj, he also said he wouldn't raise taxes on anybody making less than $250k. So this whole turd is DOA, because Obama would never sign it.

Right?

Posted by: Gary on October 13, 2009 03:40 PM
68. Hey John Jensen, how much are you being paid by Matt Miller and the blog squad to come here to propagandize ?

Posted by: Blog Squad on October 13, 2009 03:44 PM
69.
Gary @ 64, So the CBO did their analysis based on Baucus' mark? Is that correct?

That's what this thread is about.

Hey John Jensen, how much are you being paid by Matt Miller and the blog squad to come here to propagandize ?

A million dollars a year. Do you have a problem with capitalism or freedom of speech?

Posted by: John Jensen on October 13, 2009 04:02 PM
70. Oh and John Jensen,

Until a landmark decision by the Canadian Supreme Court in 2005, it was illegal for any doctor to privately practice medicine.

It is a well known fact that a vast portion of the Canadian health system relies upon patients being treated in the US system. They come for heart, imaging tests, bariatric and other services provide access to some services not immediately available in the Canadian system.

Hospitals in border cities, including Detroit, are forging lucrative arrangements with Canadian health agencies to provide care not widely available across the border.


Posted by: pbj on October 13, 2009 04:11 PM
71.
#69 Then do you know what this means, from the CBO report?

"First, while we understand that specifications provided to CBO were
intended to be consistent with the Chairman's published mark
document, CBO and JCT have not reviewed that document to
determine whether it conforms in all respects to those specifications."

Posted by: Gary on October 13, 2009 04:11 PM
72. "A million dollars a year. Do you have a problem with capitalism or freedom of speech?"

When they confiscate my tax dollars for it then it is not capitalism but FASCISM. John Jensen, why do you like being a tool of fascism?

Posted by: Blog Squad on October 13, 2009 04:14 PM
73. 71, I have no idea what that means, and I have no idea how your right wing blogs continues to produce so many distractions. But I do know that was from a 9/16 CBO estimate.

Which wasn't of the final mark, as amended. Try this: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/106xx/doc10642/10-7-Baucus_letter.pdf

Posted by: John Jensen on October 13, 2009 05:02 PM
74. #73 Right wing blog? I read it at cbo.gov.

Posted by: Gary on October 13, 2009 05:31 PM
75. You read the wrong thing at cbo.gov. Weeks ago. Different story.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 13, 2009 05:41 PM
76. Yeah, you're right. That was dated, like 9/17.

Posted by: Gary on October 14, 2009 05:29 AM
77. Folks the truth of the matter is that the statist want to take control of YOUR lives using YOUR tax dollars. Obama is a proven liar. From the very beginnings of his campaign he lied through his teeth. Remember Jeremiah Wright and how Obama told us all how he was "like an uncle " and he "could no more disown him than he could his grandmother"? Then he threw him under the bus when he was no longer useful. And remember his waiting period on bills before signing them? Another lie.

Obama is a liar.


Here are just ten of his lies:


1. Promising to "publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days... before the President signs it," then breaking that promise over and over again.

2. Despite promising to keep lobbyists out of his administration, Obama has broken his word again and again (making 17 exceptions to this promise in his first two weeks).

3. Obama promised to eliminate income taxation for seniors making less than $50,000 a year. He has broken this promise despite numerous opportunities to keep it, including the economic stimulus package and his administration's first budget proposal.

4. The President also boasted during his campaign that "During 2009 and 2010, existing businesses will receive a $3,000 refundable tax credit for each additional full-time employee hired," and has failed to keep his word.

5. Obama made it part of his agenda to "allow withdrawals of 15% up to $10,000 from retirement accounts without penalty (although subject to the normal taxes). This would apply to withdrawals in 2008 (including retroactively) and 2009," but didn't include this measure in the stimulus package or his budget proposal.

6. Obama broke his promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

7. Obama did a shameless 180 degree turn on earmarks by sharply criticizing them (and bragging that he would pass legislation without a single one) and then signing a spending bill with literally thousands of them.

8. Obama promised a $4000 tax credit for college tuition, but backpedaled when he signed a much smaller $2,500 college tax credit into law.

9. Obama called presidential "signing statements" (letters of interpretation and recommendations attached to Congressional legislation) unconstitutional... then attached a signing statement of his own to a $410 billion spending bill.

10. Obama promised a different tone in Washington D.C. and a move past bitter, partisan rhetoric. It took him less than a week as president to berate Republicans and sully the dignity of his office by picking a very public rhetorical fight with a private citizen, Rush Limbaugh.


Posted by: TheTruth on October 14, 2009 05:33 AM
78. A bunch of unions have taken out newspaper ads against this thing. $400 billion in new taxes, 90% of which are paid by people making less than $250k, and half of which by those making less than $100k.

And they did so in direct opposition to Rahm Emmanuel who asked them not to.

Posted by: Gary on October 14, 2009 06:45 AM
79. Gary,

Jensen's a lost cause. He's a True Believer and will never accept any differing of opinion or fact relating to his True Belief. You and I must sacrifice our liberty and resources to his god, and letting old people die (as Obama Presidential Advisor Robert Reich plainly states as a way of saving money) is perfectly fine.

Our liberty, our work, and indeed our lives will be sacrificed in the name of his god.

Note that Jensen was originally very opposed to anything that did not cover everyone, or that wasn't deficit neutral. Now that a bill has passed that is neither (it is not deficit neutral and it only covers 5 million people at a cost of $16,580 per person annually) Jensen of course changes his tune and still worships his god.

John Jensen,

President Obama says there are 30 million without health insurance, and the CBO says the Baucus bill leaves 25 million uninsured.

Do the math - that is 5 million given coverage for $829 billion over 6 years (yes, the taxes start now, the coverage starts in 4 years). We will spend $138 billion a year to cover 5 million people. That is $27,600 PER PERSON, $2,300 per month, to cover those 5 million people.

Most disgustingly of all, Baucus wants to tax as "excessive" any insurance plan of more than $8,000 annually per person. His own plan will spend nearly 3.5 TIMES that amount per person covered.

You want a "Cadillac" plan? Either pay an extra 35% tax for it, or get the Government to pay for your insurance. That's the ticket!

A bill that is not revenue neutral, leaves 83% of those uninsured still uninsured, and blows out thousands of dollars per month per person covered violates every single tenet that you railed against. Where is your outrage over the Baucus bill? It does nothing you claimed to support, yet you support this monstrosity?

Does the hypocrisy and revisionism give you painful whiplash?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on October 14, 2009 08:05 AM
80. Dan, and if they actually do go through with the medicare cuts, seniors' choices of hospitals and doctors will be severely limited as doctors will stop accepting them as patients. And if they don't go through with the medicare cuts, the deficit will be even more astronomical.

And like you say, all of this for what, insuring a few more people?

Posted by: Gary on October 14, 2009 08:17 AM
81. Gary, Yeah, you're right. That was dated, like 9/17.

It has nothing to do with blog entry. You thought you were being clever. You thought you brought insight. You quoted the wrong CBO report.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 14, 2009 09:47 AM
82. Yeah, I did. I can only be clever about 90% of the time.

Posted by: Gary on October 14, 2009 09:56 AM
83. Dan, letting old people die

That is a lie.

it is not deficit neutral

You are lying. The bill reduces the deficit. It reduces the deficit by $111 billion in the next 4 years, and $81 billion over the next ten years.

only covers 5 million people at a cost of $16,580 per person annually

You are lying. The bill insures 29 additional million Americans.

You want a "Cadillac" plan? Either pay an extra 35% tax for it, or get the Government to pay for your insurance. That's the ticket!

At least this point isn't a lie. Well, part of it is a lie: the government won't pay for Cadillac plans.

An extra 35% tax? Employer-provided insurance is not taxed at all. This policy effectively caps the deduction. It reduces the deficit, drives down insurance premiums, and is unpopular with unions. The GOP should love it. And guess what? They did when McCain proposed not just taxing expensive plans, but taxing all plans of any sort.

Where is your outrage over the Baucus bill? It does nothing you claimed to support, yet you support this monstrosity?

You are lying about what the Baucus bill contains. At times, Dan, you are a true partisan hack. Your absurd "5 million" math is a lie. You wrote it simply to deceive and manipulate, not to have a rational discussion of policy. That is pathetic and immature. Grow up.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 14, 2009 10:08 AM
84.
JCT yesterday:

"Many employers share the cost of the insurance they provide with their employees; that is, the employer pays some portion of the insurance premium, and the employee pays for some portion. To the extent that the increased cost of the insurance policy is paid by the employer, we would expect that to exert downward pressure on wages paid by the employer. To the extent that the increased premium cost is paid through the employee share, the added cost of the excise tax can be expected to reduce consumer demand for high cost insurance products. Over time, the downward pressure on wages attributable to the employer share of the increased cost would also reduce consumer demand for high-cost insurance products."

Increased premium costs. "...reduce consumer demand for high-cost insurance products."

How is Baucus gonna get his revenues if the JCT is correct about the reduction in high-cost insurance products?


Posted by: Gary on October 14, 2009 10:30 AM
85. Gary, that's a good question. Most of the revenues not from the tax itself, but from the reduced consumer demand for high-cost insurance products. How does that make sense? NY Times: projections by the Joint Committee on Taxation that about $142 billion of the 10-year total of $201 billion to be raised by the proposal would come from increased income and payroll taxes evidence, they said, that workers would receive increased wages if employers spent less on health benefits.

This is general fund spending so each different tax doesn't actually go to a separate pool of money.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 14, 2009 10:43 AM
86. #85 "...workers would receive increased wages if employers spent less on health benefits."

-

But the President said we can keep the plans we have.

Posted by: Gary on October 14, 2009 10:51 AM
87. The President said in his speech last month that nothing in this plan would force anyone or any company to switch insurance plans or doctors, and that's true. It's also true that in an employer-based system, employers have control over our insurance plans. Even with no reform, nearly every single company is going to switch or change insurance plans over the coming decade. It's also true that if you get fired from your job you "lose the plan you have," but that really doesn't have much to do with reform, does it?

But sure, the President lied and is going to Hell. If only people found out the truth: Sometimes employers switch insurance companies! The shock that the populace would have.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 14, 2009 11:17 AM
88. So, the President's plan to pay for this overhaul (according to the New York Times) includes a deliberate method by which employers will drop their high-cost plans. Sounds to me like he doesn't want us to keep our plan.

Obama: "I happen to be a proponent of single-payer, universal health care plan."

Posted by: Gary on October 14, 2009 11:43 AM
89. What does inter-state competition do? Has some people change plans. What does Obama's plan do? Has some people change plans. What does not doing anything at all do? Has some people change plans.

Yes, I get that you believe Obama is going to Hell because he is a liar. I understand you are more focused on his poor choice of words than on your poor choice of policy. But no matter what happens -- a GOP plan, a Democratic plan, or no plan at all -- people will switch insurance companies over time. That is what competition does. Given that companies naturally change insurance plans over time, how about we incentivize them to pick plans that lower the cost of health care for everyone?

Obama hasn't said "if you like your plan, you can keep it!" in a while in response to criticisms like yours. But he did say in his speech last month that nothing in this bill would force you or your employer to switch insurance companies or switch doctors. That is completely true.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 14, 2009 01:23 PM
90. #89 "What does Obama's plan do? Has some people change plans."

But he said we could keep our plans.

Posted by: Gary on October 14, 2009 01:31 PM
91. Obama hasn't said "if you like your plan, you can keep it!" in a while in response to criticisms like yours. But he did say in his speech last month that nothing in this bill would force you or your employer to switch insurance companies or switch doctors. That is completely true.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 14, 2009 01:46 PM
92.
But, his plan *relies* on employers changing their plans to pay for his reform.

You said so yourself.

Anyway. He said I can keep my plan.

Posted by: Gary on October 14, 2009 01:51 PM
93. Obama hasn't said "if you like your plan, you can keep it!" in a while in response to criticisms like yours. But he did say in his speech last month that nothing in this bill would force you or your employer to switch insurance companies or switch doctors. That is completely true.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 14, 2009 02:15 PM
94. John,

So how many are uninsured? Is it the oft-stated 46 million? Or the 30 million in the Youtube clip that President Obama stated?

And what happens when you subtract 25 million from each number - how many are covered?

And does the result of either subtraction equal the CBO's claim of 29 million additional covered?

See, the MATH DOESN'T ADD UP. The lie by you and your leftists is that you simply have NOT made the case nor even defined the problem! How many don't have insurance?

It used to be 46 million.

Then Obama redefined it as 30 million.

Now the CBO implies it's 54 million.

What's the number, John? And why would a supposedly rational person NOT question this result, when we're talking such a wide disparity?

Oh, that's right - you're not rational, you're a Slaver idiot.

HOPE AND CHANGE!

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on October 14, 2009 05:14 PM
95. Dan, So how many are uninsured? Is it the oft-stated 46 million? Or the 30 million in the Youtube clip that President Obama stated?

Both. 46 million residents. 30 million citizens.

The bill estimates until 2019 -- so more people go uninsured. Without action, there will be (25 + 29 =) 56 million residents without insurance.

Oh, that's right - you're not rational, you're a Slaver idiot.

The CBO number you quote, "25 million" remaining without insurance, is in the same document that says 29 million will get insurance. You are using one value, while ignoring the other. When you claim that "simple math" shows that only 5 million will get coverage, you are lying. When you take the total cost and divide by 5 million, you are lying.

There's no way to give you the benefit of the doubt. You are taking some numbers, distorting them, and lying about the conclusions. It's complete bullshit. You have zero credibility. But, sure, HURRRRRRRR, Obama says 30 and some other place as 46. So let's not look what the numbers mean and just drool out idiotic lies.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 14, 2009 05:50 PM
96. #95 "Obama says 30 and some other place as 46."

He says both.

Posted by: Gary on October 14, 2009 06:02 PM
97.
Obama:

"I don't have to explain to you that nearly 46 million Americans don't have health insurance coverage today,"

Obama:

"There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage."

More than? Like 16 million more?

Posted by: Gary on October 14, 2009 06:06 PM
98. I see. So it's a number that has no basis other than a guess, and even at that it represents just half of the uninsured. And if we accept the number, we'll spend over $400 per month per person covered. Well beyond what the average is inside the US.

And you support this piece of crap? Seriously? John, you're more deranged than I thought...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on October 14, 2009 08:35 PM
99. Click here to watch the two faced liar Obama in his own words

Posted by: Nobama on October 14, 2009 09:21 PM
100. @95,

"Both. 46 million residents. 30 million citizens."

The problem with idealogues like John Jensen is that they have spent so many years defending the indefesnible they lak the ability to se when they say nonsensical things.

Posted by: Liar_John_Jensen on October 14, 2009 09:31 PM
101. "Both. 46 million residents. 30 million citizens." it depends on what estimate you want to listen to, the 46 million sounds more impressive then say 20 million. you really need to swap the illegal aliens number with the uninsured number.

Posted by: Ron K on October 14, 2009 09:59 PM
102. Senate Democrats (Stabenow) are hoping to pass a separate bill that increases Medicare reimbursements:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091014/ap_on_go_co/us_doctor_dollars

But I thought the Baucus bill was going to reduce them? So, they reduce them in one bill, and get the CBO to say, "YAY!", and then just bring 'em back in another.


Posted by: Gary on October 15, 2009 05:47 AM
103. Dan, So it's a number that has no basis other than a guess, and even at that it represents just half of the uninsured.

The CBO and the census are not "guessing" the number of the uninsured. You just don't know nor understand their methodology. Rather than try to, you resort to drooling meaningless arguments.

And if we accept the number, we'll spend over $400 per month per person covered. Well beyond what the average is inside the US.

$900 bn / 29 mn people / 10 years / 12 months = $259 per month -- which includes health cost inflation through 2019.

In 2005, the average cost of insurance was $3,991 for an individual. It has certainly skyrocketed since then. $3,991 / 12 = $333 per month -- not including health cost inflation through 2019.

You're wrong.

101, The problem with idealogues like John Jensen is that they have spent so many years defending the indefesnible they lak the ability to se when they say nonsensical things.

How is that nonsensical? A "resident" is anyone who lives here, legal or illegal. A "citizen" is a different category. The CBO estimates based on "residents" not "citizens." If they ignored all non-citizens, they wouldn't be able to score the cost of non-citizens in certain proposals.

Ron K, it depends on what estimate you want to listen to, the 46 million sounds more impressive then say 20 million. you really need to swap the illegal aliens number with the uninsured number.

No, it depends whether you're interested in the real cost of the plan or you want to pay politics with the numbers. The CBO's job is to evaluate the cost of the plan and who it affects. It cannot evaluate the cost of the plan while ignoring non-citizens.

20 million is a number you've completely made up, by the way. 46 million is a number established by the census. That's also a substantial difference. One is a made up number to minimize the problem and maximize the politics, one is a number that is based on statistical methods.

Of the 46 million, about 7 to 8 million are illegal immigrants. We have plenty of legal immigrants here, too.

Gary, But I thought the Baucus bill was going to reduce them?

The Baucus bill does not reduce reimbursement rates, you're wrong. Current statue (passed by the GOP in 1997) does that.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 15, 2009 10:18 AM
104. Of course, the bill doesn't just do insurance expansion. It has other meaningful reforms that cost money.

The CBO says that "The estimate includes a projected net cost of $518 billion over 10 years for the proposed expansions in insurance coverage."

So, let's redo this math:

$518 bn / 29 mn people / 10 years / 12 months = $148 per month -- which includes health cost inflation through 2019.

In 2005, the average cost of insurance was $3,991 for an individual. It has certainly skyrocketed since then. $3,991 / 12 = $333 per month -- not including health cost inflation through 2019.

In other words, this plan is significantly cheaper at getting people covered than your incorrect math stated. Less than half the cost of your average insurance plan, and probably even a 1/3 of the cost once premium inflation is accounted for.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 15, 2009 10:31 AM
105. John,

And the CBO has the estimate wrong, at least according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who plainly states:

He talked about CBO saying that there would be $54 billion saved each year if we put caps on medical malpractice and put some restrictions tort reform $54 billion. Sounds like a lot of money, doesnt it, Mr. President? The answer is yes. But remember, were talking about $2 trillion, $54 billion compared to $2 trillion. You can do the math. We can all do the math. Its a very small percent."

So it's not a $829 billion deal, it's a $2 trillion deal. Meaning - if the CBO estimate of the number of people covered (29 million) is correct, we'll drop nearly $1000 per MONTH per person covered for just the first 6 years.

John, face it. The facts are too few, they're never the same, the problem isn't defined! Rule number ONE of problem solving is DEFINE THE PROBLEM. Right now, that's not even done, and the Slavery Party in Congress and the Chief Slaver in the White House want to issue a solution.

How many are uninsured? What's the acceptable non-covered rate (you used to say the vast majority should be covered, even with your CBO numbers it's barely past 50% of the projected uninsured)? What's the acceptable cost per person?

NONE of that is defined, yet ALL of that is critical to formulating a solution. This "health insurance" reform is not about health insurance at all; it's about taking over another 20% of our economy, meaning the Federal Government would directly control 50% of the US GDP. THAT is the goal, just that True Believers like you are so blinded you don't see what's really happening.

So is it $829 billion? Is it $2 trillion? Does it cover 5 million, or does it cover 29 million? Does it allow HSAs and catastrophic plans, or will it cancel them? Does it allow you to keep what you have or does it so skew the economics of the market that it simply is untenable to NOT change?

And if this is SUCH AND EMERGENCY, why pass the law now, and NOT have it kick in for 4 years? The number of 45,000 annual deaths because of no insurance is bandied around a lot, so I guess we're OK with letting 180,000 people DIE from the time the legislation is voted on until the time it is made active?

John, things aren't adding up at all. And you simply refuse to look at it with a critical eye. You're hopeless...

Oh, and your little statement:

Current statue (passed by the GOP in 1997) does that.

Of course, every year that statute has been waived, never acted on. So what's the point of passing a statute AND CLAIMING the "savings" from it if you constantly waive it? Other than jiggering the books in your favor, of course...

That ALONE should be enough reason for you to take pause; you were so vocal and adamant that the plan must be at least revenue neutral, but even you have to admit the basis is flawed, because it counts on savings that never exist (the very 1997 law you reference).

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on October 15, 2009 12:05 PM
106. Dan "Rule number ONE of problem solving is DEFINE THE PROBLEM."

The problem as defined by the government is that they don't own it yet.

Posted by: Gary on October 15, 2009 12:46 PM
107. Dan, So it's not a $829 billion deal, it's a $2 trillion deal.

$2 trillion is annual health care spending.

$829 billion is the 10 year cost of reform.

They are completely difference numbers. They mean different things. Even if they have a dollar sign in front of them.

The facts are too few, they're never the same, the problem isn't defined!

Dan, you're in way too over your head for policy analysis. You're cut out for partisan attacks. For listening to Hannity and Beck and Limbaugh.

You have never sat down and tried to seriously study this issue. Your most recent failure is the inability to realize that "500" or "90" or "821" or "2,000,000,000,000" are just numbers. Numbers mean absolutely nothing with context and units. And you carelessly mix the contexts and the units. Your analysis is completely meaningless.

And if this is SUCH AND EMERGENCY, why pass the law now, and NOT have it kick in for 4 years?

Pre-existing conditions would go away immediately. New, catastrophic plans would be added -- McCain's idea -- immediately. I'm for moving the reforms up sooner but you're not. You're for killing the reforms forever and letting 29 million people go without health coverage.

John, things aren't adding up at all. And you simply refuse to look at it with a critical eye.

You refuse to look at it with a critical eye. You are not focusing on substantive arguments. You are drooling out numbers without even trying to understand what they mean.

So what's the point of passing a statute AND CLAIMING the "savings" from it if you constantly waive it?

No one at all is "claiming" the savings in this health reform bill.None of this bill's costs depend on the Medicare cuts. Just like how the CBO estimate doesn't depend on the costs high speed rail. They're just separate things. You are misunderstanding the issue.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 15, 2009 12:48 PM
108. "Pre-existing conditions would go away immediately."

Miracle! Praise to Him!

Posted by: Gary on October 15, 2009 01:02 PM
109. Miracle! Praise to Him!

Oh roll eyes, kiddo. Insurance companies would no longer be able to discriminate about pre-existing conditions.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 15, 2009 01:23 PM
110. Cool. I'll stop paying for insurance. I'm healthy.

Posted by: Gary on October 15, 2009 02:05 PM
111. John dribbles out:

Insurance companies would no longer be able to discriminate about pre-existing conditions.

They can? Have you ever heard of the HIPAA law? Does that law not exist?

John, you're not being critical. You're assuming all the rainbows and happy puppies that are being promised will occur, and then swallow what is said.

The numbers don't add up and they are not consistent.

The drive to DO IT NOW is disingenuous given the 4+ year delay in implementation.

Covering 29 million is good, leaving 25 million without coverage is better? The reality is there are fewer than 8 million who need help with coverage (I've shown you the facts multiple times, you ignore them).

You want health insurance from the Government; fine, buy it. Why do I have to accept what you and the Government dictate? What right do you have to do so?

KEEP YOUR LAWS OFF MY BODY

Isn't that what the saying of your leftist trolls has been? Why do you get to apply your morality to my body, it's a personal choice!

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on October 15, 2009 02:09 PM
112. Obama's Communications Director's favorite philosopher is Chairman Mao.

Another one.

Posted by: Gary on October 15, 2009 02:15 PM
113. The reality is there are fewer than 8 million who need help with coverage (I've shown you the facts multiple times, you ignore them).

You don't know what you're talking about.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 15, 2009 03:57 PM
114. Cool. I'll stop paying for insurance. I'm healthy.

If only there were some sort of policy -- some component of every health reform bill -- that handled this very case.

You're so insightful, Gary. I'm so happy to share these conversations with you. The depth you display -- it's amazing.

Posted by: John Jensen on October 15, 2009 04:01 PM
115.
$620 million Stimulus dollars spent in Michigan. Jobs "created or saved"? 397.


Posted by: Gary on October 16, 2009 07:10 AM
116. You guys all understand this right? They're taking $250 billion out of the Baucus plan, to make the CBO happy, but they are just putting that $250 billion back into another bill to make up for it, and they want to pass that one ASAP.


Posted by: Gary on October 16, 2009 07:40 AM
Post a comment
Name:


Email Address:


URL:


Comments:


Remember info?