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  • Is the House Health Plan Really Paid For?

    Confused about whether the House health care bill, H.R. 3200, is deficit-neutral? No wonder. House Leadership maintains the bill will be “fully paid for and not contribute to the deficit.” On the other hand, CBO has said the bill will add $239 billion to the deficit over 10 years. Leadership’s statement is true, but only if you assume larger deficits every year.

    Larger deficits are deficit-neutral? How can this be? Leadership says, simple! They will pass PAYGO legislation first, and health care reform second. PAYGO – a key policy objective of the Blue Dogs because it is supposed to keep the deficit from getting bigger – requires that any new entitlement spending (or tax cuts) must be paid for by new spending cuts (or tax increases), all measured against a current services baseline.

    But Leadership has proposed PAYGO with a twist. They would legislatively move costs for “Docfix” – a legislative remedy increasing payments to doctors costing $228 billion over 10 years – directly into the PAYGO spending baseline. Their reasoning is that this is merely an extension of current policy and so should not be considered new spending, or – here’s the key – counted towards meeting PAYGO requirements. To be sure, the PAYGO baseline is in sore need of fixing, but this should be done consistently, not just for selective policies as this legislative fix would do it.

    Here’s how it would work. First, the House would add an extra $228 billion to the spending baseline in the PAYGO legislation, which, under PAYGO rules, means the deficit is automatically allowed to be $228 billion bigger. Then, when the House considers the Health Care bill, this Docfix spending does not violate PAYGO because it’s already included in the baseline. And spending still goes up. So, the House bill is “paid for” and “deficit-neutral,” but only by accepting $228 billion more in deficit spending before the House even begins debate on the Health Care bill. So, the extra Docfix spending happens anyway, the deficit still goes up, and proponents claim the whole thing is paid for. Sounds like smoke and mirrors, doesn’t it?

    So, just where are the Blue Dog fiscally conservative Democrats on this? Do the PAYGO champions agree with running up the red ink by $228 billion first, and then say the health plan is “paid for” (like first adding $228 billion to your Visa card and then pledging to pay for each additional charge)? Or have they just given up on the pledge to pay for health care? Time to tell us.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Is the House Health Plan Really Paid For?

    1. Roger S., Ma. says:

      They'll forget, too!

      They are like little children before achieving "object permanence": Cover up the toy, and it's gone! The difference is little kids outgrow this stage. They've regressed to it, apparently permanently and as a matter of policy.

      Heaven help us!

    2. Karen. Michigan says:

      Paygo is really slight of NAND isn't it? And will Congress live under the same health care they want for us?

    3. Russ, PA says:

      Well, let's ask the Ministry of Truth what to think of this Orwellian nightmare.

    4. Frank Crocker, Washi says:

      I am still trying to figure out how they can just force this 1 trillion dollar bill through as quickly as possible. Pelosi is saying that they have the votes, well they dont.

      O well, they cut out our F22 fighters, 1/3 of 1% of a trillion bucks.

      Frank Crocker
      http://www.axiomatennessee.com

    5. DANIEL CABRERA, MERR says:

      ok if I 'already said,… that where it is?….if is posted is invisible now !

    6. DANIEL CABRERA, MERR says:

      ALRIGHT THIS IS MY VIEW ABOUT WHAT OBAMA, PROPAGANDIST-IN-CHIEF, SAID TONIGHT ABOUT 'HEALTH CARE REFORM'….FI YOU ARE GOING TO SAY THAT …"I ALREADY SAID IT…"…AND IT WILL BE 'INVISIBLE,… THEN YOU ARE GOING TO BE JUST AS AT FOX NATION BLOGS, SO IS GOOD BYE… AND I WILL NEVER , EVER WRITE HERE AGAIN. FINE WITH ME NO HARD HEART ON THIS FROM MY PART….JUST SEND ME A SIGNAL,… IS THAT SIMPLE…SO HERE IS MY VIEW:___

      OBAMA,PROPAGANDIST-IN-CHIEF / PREACHER-IN-CHIEF….THE FRONT-MAN,….HIS NATIONAL CONFERENCE JULY 22,2009;

      As always, a sounding convincing speech- directly from the teleprompter,…only this time the message was not as use to be,… for credibility is not there any more.Obama cannot help to mention that all the problematic is inherited,…for no excuses can be found to substaciate the inefficiency of what is done.___

      If memory serves well the blame steps are ;__

      1.Fannie & Freddie,..__

      2. Lobbysts and speculators…__

      3.now the health care situation,…all in secuence with strong emphasis on; "…WE INHERITED THIS…"

      So therre had been a number of excuses, one behind the other to attmempt to escape the true resposability – that this plateau is because THEM ( THE DEMOCRAT FACTIONS).___

      REALITY CHECK; – SINCE OBAMA GANG TOOK THE HELM..__

      1. Over TWO MILLLIONS MORE PEOPLE UNEMPLOYED__

      2. Deficit FOUR FOLDS OVER THE ORIGINAL LEVEL__

      3. The so called 'STIMULUS' misuses and abused in CEO's and lavish parties.__

      4. A NEGATIVE HELP for California and yet THREE TIMES the money needed there, was given – AND LOST ! – to the car industry for they had to file bankrupcy anyway.__

      5. National Defense is decimated in MISSILES PROTECTION , FIGHTERS AIRPLANES (F-22), …elimination for defense contracts, ….borders not protected (so drugs and illegal inmigration os at large).__

      6. Nationalization (government power grab ) into virtuall everything inside the private assets….vectorizing the nation toward another second class socialist country. In other words the AMERICAN INDIVIDUALITY IS DETERIORATING.__

      All this and more projection in around just six months – not a year ! – NO !, ONLY SIX MONTHS.

      On top of that we are contemplating over 24 TRILLIONS DEBT for the oncomig 20 to 25 years,…and so we may be printing paper money without any value.___Boys and girls this really stinks to high heavens and down to Dante's Divine Comedy arena__.

      BEAUTIFUL TALK / PROMISES (as previously) BUT NO TANGIBLE SUBSTANCE…ONLY A POSE,..A SHOW.

      And how is you day so far ? …DID ANYONE VOTE FOR THIS GARBAGE ?….WE DEFINITELLY NEED BETTER LEADERS AT HELM.__

      Good day everyone,

      Daneil Cabrera

      Merrillville,Indiana

      PS – The tv tabloids (NBC, CNN, MSNBC) , and tabloid publications such as , THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE HUFFINGTON POST, LA TIMES , etc,… along with what is left of the quasi-hypoitized brainless "utra-obamanized " cool aid drinkers people, will not take this one lightly.

    7. Sherry,Tennessee says:

      Money for health care is going to the illegal immigrants from Mexico and other countries. These people come to America for good health care and we are paying for their children born here. If the parents go in the hospital have no insurance, and the tax payers are footing the bill for thier health care. To make amtters worse they are not even required to learn how to speak English. I work in healh care and see first hand how they misuse the health care system and expedct the government to foot the bill. If were don't send word to our leaders we will have the same health care Canada has. Where will we be able to go to for health care.

    8. Denise, Chicago says:

      The spending has to stop, period. Where I come from when you over spend on the monthly budget you don't spend more one spends less.

    9. Pingback: News for 07/24/09 | RagingElephants.org

    10. N. Braverman says:

      Just a quick note. Is Obama going to put the "first" mother-in-law into his demonic health plan. Last I looked, she's not employed by the gov't so she can't possibly have the same coverage as Obama and clan and I don't think she can be added as a dependent child. Have to keep my eyes open.

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