• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Show Us the Savings

    According to an analysis by USA Today, American taxpayers “are on the hook for an extra $55,000 a household to cover rising federal commitments made just in the past year for retirement benefits, the national debt and other government promises.” Federal obligations now stand ata record $546,668 per household, quadruple what the average U.S. household owes for all mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other debt combined.

    Fortunately for Americans, President Barack Obama recognizes that the federal government has a spending problem. He told CSPAN this weekend: “We are out of money.” Unfortunately, President Obama’s proposed solution will only make the problem much, much worse. While Obama correctly recognizes that our increasingly government controlled health care sector is on a trajectory that “will see health care cost as an overall share of our federal spending grow and grow and grow and grow until essentially it consumes everything,” Obama’s solution is to accelerate this trend by creating a government run health plan that will eventually cancel private coverage and care. The cost of this new government run health care for all? At least $122.6 billion annually, with a totaling $2 trillion by 2019.

    How can President Obama possibly lower government health care expenditures while moving millions of Americans from private care and onto government rolls? Obama tells CSPAN: “What we are going to do is to invest more in prevention and wellness programs. We are going to manage how treatments are provided more effectively. We are going to initiate things like electronic medical records … All these things will drive down costs.” But private health providers already invest in prevention and wellness programs and there is no evidence government programs would do that job better. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) rightly dismissed the administration’s electronic medical record savings claims. How about the federal government’s capacity to “manage how treatments are provided more effectively”? Lets look at the record.

    When Congress added a prescription drug benefit to the Medicare program, they adopted some cost containment provisions including the introduction of competitive bidding. But just as this new process is about to begin, saving taxpayers an estimated $1 billion annually, Congress stepped in and canceled the cost savings measures.The result: while average citizen can buy a power wheelchair for $2,174, Medicare pays $4,023.

    During that same CSPAN interview, President Obama claimed: “We are operating in deep deficits, not caused by any decisions we’ve made on health care so far.” Au contraire. Then Senator Barack Obama voted to kill that cost containment provision.

    There are ways to control our runaway entitlement spending. For starters remove Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security from auto-pilot by subjecting them to regular reauthorization, means test benefits, and encourage personal savings through automatic enrollment in individual retirement accounts. The administration should be made to prove it can wring savings out of Medicare as it exists today before they are allowed to make millions of more Americans dependent on the U.S. government.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    31 Responses to Morning Bell: Show Us the Savings

    1. Steve, Michigan says:

      This crushing debt burden will be our undoing, and it will be fair to lay it at the feet of the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats. Not that Congressional Republicans should escape blame. If we are really fair, however, we have to see that this is what happens when the American people look for salvation in government, rather than relying on themselves. It's not really a partisan problem, it's a problem of the end of personal responsibility.

    2. Steve -- Fort Myers, says:

      The American Republic is out of money, out of control and fast running out of morality. It's not the fault of Obama or Bush or the Republicans or the Democrats. All these entities are simply tools of a far greater malady. Unrestrained capitalism is the culprit which will destroy our economy, dibilitate the currency (dollar) and ultimately result in the total devastation of our country.

      The United States of America is well along the road to becoming a thrid world country and we have only ourselves to blame. Each of us has tolerated and sanctioned the deviate actions of our corrupted government, the illegal actions of our sanctimonious corporations and the beligerant actions of our ignorant leadership. We, the complacent and apathetic lot of Americans continue to carve out our own destiny!

    3. Proud citizen says:

      While Obama recognizes that our increasingly government controlled health care “will see health care cost as an overall share of our federal spending grow and grow and grow and grow until essentially it consumes everything, the solution is to accelerate this trend by creating a government run health plan that will eventually cancel private coverage and care. The cost of this new government run health care for all? At least $122.6 billion annually, with a totaling $2 trillion by 2019.

      Question: Has this been on the AP news? Do only the crazy conservatives know this?

    4. Judith of The Late, says:

      The figures released are so stunning they are hard to comprehend, The government's reasonings are so convoluted they are nearly impossible to comprehend.

      This leads me to believe that this is all being done deliberately in order to cause as much confusion as possible, and then the govt can wisk through anything it wants, no questions asked.

    5. Thomas, Dallas says:

      Why do we need government healthcare at all? Why not something like auto insurance. Everyone to have a minimum, but can buy all the coverage you want after covering emergency care and recovery. Coverage good everywhere in the US at least. State regulated and no US government involvment what so ever. Retired on Medicare? Transition to them buying their own coverage.

    6. Jonathan Seid, Willi says:

      Vote the incumbents out of office.

    7. vernon brant - Lak says:

      I'm 78 years old, served in the military and

      always considered my self a good citizen however

      for the first time in my life I'm glad of my age,

      I don't think I can handle whats going on to my

      country. I do however pray for my grandchildren

      but they will adjust; what they never experienced

      they won't miss.

      I was born and raised in a magic age; the advance-

      ments is almost unbelievable, no other generation

      will ever see this much in one life time.

      Thank you Heritage: Vernon

    8. Recruiter says:

      If all the Obama kool-aid drinkers would simply stop and apply some common sense, this madness could be stopped. There is no way that health care under a Government contolled plan will be an improvement over what is arguably the BEST heathcare in the world. Don't believe this? Just ask someone that currently has Universal Government coverage. You will have healthcare rationing in the country, not to mention people DYING because access will be restricted. We cannot afford this Obamanible plan. Obama wants to control everything in this country and I am scared to death that this is all happening on the backs of our kids that will never be able to repay this mountain of debt and will never know the greatness of this country that was once called America.

    9. Ben C, Ann Arbor, MI says:

      For Steve in Florida: Every economic platform has it's dark side. To date, capitalism has proven to be, on the whole, the best economic system to ensure vertical movement in society. It rewards the entrepreneurial spirit. Yes, there are abuses, yes, there are evil people who can take advantage of the weak – but then this is why we have a judicial system and not a dictatorship. What has happened is that the bottom half society has learned that by voting in people who will allow feeding at the public trough their personal responsibilities are nonexistent – the "nanny state will take care of you.". The problem is that the top half of society is now unwilling to support the lower half – its simply becoming too expensive and is creating the death spiral for our society. My view is that we will implode and likley regress to feudalism – maybe even tribal. Not a pretty picture.

    10. Nelia, Fountain Hill says:

      So many — including a couple of my own children, are so brainwashed by the mainstream media, they are in total denial of the truth. Only when they become personally and critically affected by the financial downturn and the removal of freedoms they have always taken for granted, will they wise up to this administration's true character and agenda. I pray it won't be too late.

    11. Wholley Roller, NJ says:

      Many retired Americans have a Bumper Sticker that reads, “I’m spending my children’s inheritance.” Amusing, but certainly apt. It’s their money and they have the right to do with it what they please. With Obamanomics the bumper sticker will have to change to read, “I’m living off my grandchildren’s debt.” This is not right! It is an Obamination!

    12. Ben Kiker Winnie, Texas 77665 says:

      What law or congressional rules allow lawmakers to continue to exempt themselves from the laws they pass? Is there a way to reverse this? It is something that has been a big source of irritation to me for a long time.Democrats and Republicans are both responsible for this. I don’t trust anyone that makes a rule and then exempts themselves from that rule. I don’t live that way, run my business that way, nor do the great majority of Americans.

    13. Richard Cancemi, Arlington, Tx. says:

      as a 75 yo male, I am sick and tired of hearing how much I am “costing” the Gov’t!
      I am sick and tired of MY money going for Foreign aid and Government electees and workers having better retirement and health benefits than I. They spend on themselves as if they were Royalty and I am the serf who exists for their benefits!
      Let THEM cut out the waste and inefficiency and payoffs to lobbyists.
      Doctors are already abused by medicare payments and it is increasingly difficult to find one willing to accept insulting fees that often are less then a plumber’s!
      I am sick of the hypocrites we have in the executive, legislative and judicial branches and especially the majority, Socialists!
      A pox on them all!

    14. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      The reason that America is in this shape is because:

      1. The Government cannot stop spending money that they do not have.

      2. The Government keeps sticking their fingers in the machinery of business when they should leave business to business.

      3. We have a bunch of complete imbeciles running things. Starting with the President right on through the Hill.

      4. We the People keep asking the Government to intervene on every little thing thus telling the Government that we cannot take care of ourselves!

      5. We the People are responsible for allowing idiots like these to keep running the show!

    15. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      The current year budget deficit alone is going to climb to $2T and an additional $10T in the next ten years. The government can not sell 30year treasury bonds at the current interest rate. The Chinese are only buying short term Treasury bonds. Federal Reserve is now engaged in buying the Treasury bonds and hand over to the government freshly printed trillion. The recipe here is for an inflationary spiral next year or so. We are going to be wishing for Carter's bungling on the late 1970s. It is going to be ugly.

      Some of the postings here seem to fight over capitalism. I wish there was capitalism in the US. We wouldn't have the problems that we are facing now. It is the problem squarely on the toxic policies of the socialistic government that we have had in the past 100 years.

      There was a deep recession in the early 1920. You don't hear about it because the government stayed away and allowed to market to recover. The country came roaring back within a very short time. In the 1930, just the opposite became a fact with the heavy interference by the government.

      People who can not understand basic facts of toxicity of the federal government interference in finance and capital markets do not basically understand the Founding principles of America.

    16. Steve, Michigan says:

      Thomas in Dallas, you are on to something! Such a system would insure competition for the elective stuff, which would keep costs down more certainly than anything the government could attempt. Does anyone ever wonder why the costs of non-covered medical procedures get so cheap (e.g. laser eye surgery)? It's due to competition. The same would happen with other services if the people paying for them were the same people receiving the service. Anyone who has ever owned rental property or rented someone else's property knows the principle: Unless you have a personal interest in the cost, you won't take care of it.

    17. Steve, Michigan says:

      To quote Pogo: "We have met the enemy and he is us!"

      We have to treat the government as we would a crack dealer – when he comes around offering some feel good stuff, just say "no thanks."

    18. Lee-White Tanks AZ says:

      A brief recap here:

      1. Our Gov-Mint has given, or committed to give to selected auto makers (read that:UAW)$Billions. In the process this same Gov-Mint has destroyed the wealth of untold numbers of Bond and Stock holders.

      2. Any one with an IQ beyond their shoe size has figured out by now that the whole Cap and Trade fiasco is a monumental scam. Yet congress and this President go right on trying to "fast track" this legislation past the voters.

      3. The Gov-Mint has given, or committed to give $Trillions to banks and other financial institutions worldwide(?) to make them whole while destroying somewhere in the area of $50Trillion in the peoples wealth. This has been done with absolutly no oversite by anyone. What little there has been has been done by the same people that created the problem. Can anyone believe that our Gov-Mint now wants to turn over certain oversite duties to the Fed???? They have totally lost it.

      4. Now the Gov-Mint says that it must take over the United States Health Care Industry. This in the face of overwhelming evidence that the

      Gov-Mint will drive costs even further upward.

      Does anyone here feel "represented"? I sure as H**l don't.

      If we don't do something about this runaway craziness in 2010 we may as well bend over and grab our ankles. It will not be pretty.

      PC is Thought Control

      LEE

    19. Raccman - Califon, N says:

      I am 80 – and glad of it as I see my beloved country,and Bill Of Rights insulted, ignored, and totally disrespected by a bunch of corrupt conniving,pacifist/Socialist BUMS starting with Obama,Reid,Pelosi,et al! Our enemies play for keeps ! You want to TALK to them ? You have been tested – and you have FAILED ! They know you to be a tower of Jello ! I see a nuclear war within the next 5 years. Universal Health Care ? It doesn't work anywhere in the World – and you think it'll work here in the US ? WAKE UP –

    20. Ron, Derry NH says:

      Even a fish wouldn't get caught if he kept his mouth shut.

      Obama is a Flim Flam man and is running ahead of the disaster he is in peril of creating only by months, then it will be weeks then days and then he'll bail on some one to shoulder the blame. He has no credentials, wisdom or knowledge of what he is doing by the actions he so blatantly touted as solutions.

      I have never seen such a blind adherent to wasteful spending mixed with conjuring rather than substance since David Copperfield came to town. Yet he laughs and jokes as he runs the country toward financial disaster and debt. Obvious having no skill with money because he has no clue where the pay back is coming from.

      All he is accomplishing is the devaluation of the productive and since we are not on a gold standard and productivity is our base value he is devaluing the very substance he needs to draw the tax structure from.

      I do recall the three stooges attempting this in a leaky boat using augers to drill more holes to let the water out…….

      All he seems capable of is buffoonery and and more preposterous spending and unfunded ideas based on some far off social agenda no one asked for.

      So far he has exploited our money and value to prolong GMs inevitable demise, which was a financial reality, not a money problem, added strength to curruption and cost our children the hope of ever affording comfort or safety and now he is putting forth a creative judge who doesn't seem to think laws are to be followed but created from the bench.

      If his choices for people match his economic reasoning…we should be more than scared.

    21. Lindsay, Fayettevill says:

      President Obama is either the greenest apple on the tree or is the most radical President we have ever elected. I lean towards him not being green but radical. He was not kidding when he said he would redistribute wealth in this country. The problem is that he will not be able to redistribute the amount of wealth that he wanted due to many his oppostion. As a result he is and will borrow money to distribute wealth to those he considers deserves a handout. Additionally President Obama is turning out to be a bigger pacifist than Jimmy Carter. North Korea, Iran, and Israel (yes Israel) is going to eat him for lunch – his pacifism will set our security and world standing back for decades. What a shame. All those that voted for him are going to eventually recognize their mistake.

    22. Barb -mn says:

      Let people take care of themselves Mr. President. They have the ability to make their own choices with their own minds. America had many opportunities to allow this. Taking it away from those that have earned it and taking away quality, lowering the standard is despicable. Stay out of health care, Mr. President. Let the free market and personal responsibilities work.

      Dear Mr. Obama,

      How many years have you lived in America? How many consistently? What were you taught in the schools you attended in America and abroad? Why do you insist on wasting valuable time and everyone's money going out of your way to destroy the American way? Personally destroy the lives of all people who respect to live the American way? Independently. Have you no knowledge or ability to gain human decency? Dignity? Honesty? Self discipline? Freedom? Have you no respect for others who are not you? Have you no ability to accept the FREEDOM OF the lives of others? As your DAY TO DAY will is to lie, cheat and steal from these people!!

      This country was a beautiful opportunity for all people of the world who accepts their lives as born free, accepting responsibility to carry on by their own means. Government insists the opposite. Arrogance in America is that of the government being and core example to influence the people new to America and people around the world. Ignorant and deceptive of the American way is how government teaches history and personal responsibility from pre through college. TAX PAID GOVERNMENT INDOCTRINATION. American people falling for it and immigrant Americans reliving the same types of government they took refuge from.

      Your "change" was never to benefit the people of America. It's to destroy. Your "hope" is not anything positive to the people, but "hope" you'll get away with your personal destruction to place PROUDLY in the history book of the Koran.

    23. John, Colorado says:

      Liberals, and One World Governmenters, and the like are controlled by the "god" of this world, the devil. The Democratic Party, and other liberals, such as liberal Republicans, come to kill unborn children, steal profits, wages, and earnings, and destroy marriages and families. (Demoncratic Party; kill, steal, destroy. And lie, lie, lie.) Their ultimate destination for the nation follows the path of the Nazis; abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and finally genocide of all who are Christian and Jewish, and finally all. (Witness those rich environmentalists who think the world population should be reduced 80%.) And let's not forget, national identity cards, with RFID chips, and UPC code (you're a piece of their merchandise), and biometrics and a data chip. For each individual and family, the best and main path is to get right with God, and pray for the nation. This is more powerful than anything. After this comes whatever else. Griping out federal and state senators over real i.d. comes to mind. So does joining 10th amendment efforts.

    24. patricia kulasik pal says:

      Now the State of Illinois is trying to pass a budget by increasing taxes mightily, not cutting expenses.

      It seems these days, no Government attempts to cut entitlements or expenses, or even retain the status quo. It is just spend, spend, spend!!!

      We need to understand Obama is definitely NOT attempting to retain our country's values or way of life. He said as much when he ran for President and nothing has changed. We are at the beginnings of Obama Nation.

    25. michael hutchings says:

      Stop feeding the unborn into the debt machine and see if as a nation we have the fortitude too not deliver into marxist bondage OUR FUTURE AS A FREE PEOPLE ON THIS GREEN ALTAR.

      I DONT EXPECT THIS WILL SURVIVE EDITING AS IS THE CASE WITH MOST OF MY MISSIVES.

    26. jim smith new york says:

      Nobama is the only one I know who makes speeches that are shovel ready and will really make your crops grow.

    27. Dave McDuffie,Laguna says:

      I am absolutely stupified how any American can be a democrat.This party relies on LIES, SPIN, HIDING THE TRUTH, IGNORING THOSE IN THE PARTY WHO BREAK THE LAW, DEGRADING THE FAMILY UNIT, KILLING CHRISTIANS, KILLING THE JOB MARKET, PREVENTING DRILLING FOR OIL,oBAMA SAYS THE DOW IS JUST A POLL AND NO MORE,PROTECTING TERRORISTS FEELINGS RATHER THAN THE LIVES OF THE CITIZENRY(the sad fact is socialists are ready do protect you just like you are an unborn fetus, or with Obama, one born even after an attempt to abort it and they only care about THEMSELVES). No inhabitant of a socialist country is willing to give their life for that socialist country. I could go on for days about this assortment of cartoon characters who we alow to destroy our jobs, our livelihood and ability to take care of our families. How much more shall we take?

    28. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      We are out of money, meaning obama can not "borrow" more money. or that he can not sell anymore of this country. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that universal health care is not the answer ot this country's problems.I think it is time that the "chosen one" wake up and smell the roses, they stink.

    29. David; Solvang, CA says:

      Future generations will shamefully understand the expression "spending like a community organizer" as they darn their socks by candlelight.

      I can only pray that our president will recover his senses, because with God all things are possible.

    30. Michael Reinemer, Am says:

      I wish Heritage Foundation would simply check some of its facts. You weaken your argument if you sprinkle in false information. For instance, the "competitive" bidding program for home medical equipment and services was NOT "canceled" by any stretch of the imagination. George F. Will made the same false claim. The program was delayed by Congress in the MIPPA bill last year in order to try to address the fact that the "competitive" bidding program would have eliminated 90 percent of the competitors (virtually all small businesses) regardless of the pricing (which is set by the government anyway). The home medical equipment sector (which delivers home medical care to Medicare beneficiaries in their homes, by far the most cost effective setting for care) in fact did PAID for the delay in the bid program through a 9.5 percent reimbursement cut effective Jan. 1, 2009 in order to save the taxpayers EVERY DOLLAR that the bid program would have saved. The delay stemmed from bipartisan concern about patient access to quality care at home and the impact on small businesses. By the way, the home medical sector represents 1.6 percent of Medicare spending and spending growth in this sector of Medicare is less than 1 percent, in spite of growing demand. We're hardly your poster child for out of control spending. And the idea that a person who needs a customized power wheelchair would buy one on the Internet is just dumb. Who would deliver it? Fit it to prevent pressure wounds? Service it? etc. etc. Seriously, you should attempt to fact check this blog since the readers apparently buy it. Yes, I work for the home medical equipment sector. Please check my facts independently. Or visit http://www.aahomecare.org/competitivebidding.

    31. Jan Treshway says:

      Government run healthcare is not what everyone thinks it would be. You will be a number to every hospital, every doctor, every provider of healthcare. Your condition, whether life or death, will be dealth with when your number is called…that is provided you are still alive. You will be told what hospital, what doctor, what provider you will see…regardless of the level of service you will be stuck with that provider. With government run healthcare, you have no options, you have no opinion, you are no longer a person…only a treatment protocal set forth in a government manual that applies to everyone. I disagree on your statement of purchasing a power wheelchair for $2,174 wheras Medicare purchases them for $4023. I purchased a power wheelchair for cash for my mother because I did not want to go through the paperwork hassel of getting one through Medicare. I did save some money upfront but it has now cost me well over what Medicare would have paid for it. It didn't fit my mother, her legs and hips ached all the time which resulted in doctor visits and medicines, we had to pay for getting it serviced where with Medicare it is serviced for free, it was too big for my mother and it almost through her out of it. Basically, I made a big mistake. Although Medicare is paying a little more, you do get the service and other benefits from it that you failed to mention in your statement.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×