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  • The Senate's Health Care Shell Game

    According to the Associated Press, at the direction of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Senate Democrats are plotting to pass a bill, by as early as next week, that grants doctors a $247 billion increase in Medicare fees over a decade. This will no doubt add to the deficit. Why are the Democrats so intent on spending $247 billion in one week? To pave the way for the White House to claim that Obamacare is deficit neutral.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Democratic Leadership are meeting, as you read this, behind closed doors with White House staff . They are trying to cut and paste the complex provisions of the Senate Finance Committee health bill (the Baucus Bill) and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions bill ( the Kennedy-Dodd bill). They want to produce an overhaul of one sixth of the economy under federal control that is somehow coherent and yet not add “one dime,” as President solemnly promised, to the deficit.

    The Senate leaders know that when they cobble all of this together they are going to have a big problem making the numbers come out right. So, fellow citizens, they are contemplating a classic shell game: Hide the increased spending under the shell of different bills. For example, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is proposing separate legislation (S.1776) that would repeal the Medicare payment update formula (one of the more bizarre Congressional administrative pricing creations), and the result would be a $247 billion increase Medicare spending by $247 billion. For the Senate leaders, it’s a neat little way around the public appearance of aggravating the already enormous “deficit problem” They raise ten year health spending by $247 billion, but keep it out of the Senate health bill. That way, they’ll be able to claim, with sort of a straight face, that the Senate’s final product, crammed with additional spending, is still “deficit neutral.”

    It’s like maxing out on the company credit card. Then, to show the accountants that one is not running up debt on the card, one simply goes out and buys a new credit card. Then, continue to run up more debt on the new one. How convenient.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    26 Responses to The Senate's Health Care Shell Game

    1. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      The proper adjectives to describe these people are not allowed on this web site.

      The sorry truth is THEY KNOW that most Americans are not following any of this.

      By the time these Americans directly feel the impact of all this – it will either be too late or they will blame someone else.

    2. Ken St Louis says:

      Any federal senator or legislator who voted for this health care, or cap, & rape bull should be removed from office by their constiuents by any means possible! ANY MEANS POSSIBLE! They or a disgrace to our founding fathers, and to their obligations to productive, working AMERICANS. They seem only to be interested in illegals, and deadbeats who refused to prepare themselves for the workforce, and now DEMAND that others provide for them!!! What ever happened to: If you need a helping hand, look at the end of your arm?

    3. Republican, Texas says:

      "that grants doctors a $247 billion increase in Medicare fees over a decade"

      I wish this would grant a 247billion increase in Medicare fees. It doesn't. All it does is repeal the flawed SGR formula that has to get patched every year. All it does it prevent a >20% CUT in medicare reimbursement, which is far different than an INCREASE in fees.

    4. Leon, Durango, CO says:

      I'm glad Bob used the word 'stealing' in his title for this piece. Our children will not receive any care in fact, and what they do get will not likely improve their health. When the Socialists took over the American Medical Association in the 1960's their first priority was to eliminated Medical Schools. We lost hundreds of Medical Schools, but that was part of the plan — Socialist run everything into the ground (they are running the Democratic Party into the ground right now).

      Socialism is called Socialism because 'stealing' doesn't sound nice for the purposes of Newspeak.

    5. triplem, iowa says:

      As a physician speaking out against these reform bills, but for addressing costs through a free market system with competitive catastrophic health insurance sold across state lines, this separation of the 2 issues put Republicans in an untenable position. The AMA and AHA (and other physician groups) had been supportive of the house bill because it repealed SGR, even if they didn't like the rest of the bill. These same groups were speaking against the Baucus "bill" as it did not address SGR in Medicare because the cost is too great. It will be very difficult for the R's to vote against this as seniors and doc groups will be angered. This is a clever move by the D's. The D's need an intact Medicare to shift us to single payer so that then they can begin reducing benefits. It appears they may get their way.

    6. Wayne, Columbia, SC says:

      I am convinced that there is a secret agenda by the Obama administration and liberals to grab all the power they can by bringing this country to its knees.

      Cap & Trade will give them power over energy producers, Obamacare will give the government (and Unions)control over 1/6th of the economy, what level of healthcare you can receive and raise healthcare costs while at the same time increasing the burden on our children for generations to come.

      Both bills (and others) will make many Americans beholden unto the almighty Administration and guaranteeing re-election to those in control to those grateful for the benefits they are granted by power hungry administration. Oh, and look forward to efforts by liberals to get rid of term limits in Obama's second term, if re-elected (God forbid).

    7. Jill, California says:

      I have a better idea. Why don't they simply find that $247 billion in existing waste and redirect where it could do some good for Medicare recipients? Or does that make too much sense?

    8. Tom, Georgia says:

      Thank you for, correctly, using "stealing" from our children rather than the more innocuous sounding "borrowing" from the future. I would add our grandchildren and subsequent generations to the list of victims.

      The institution that we would call government is a criminal enterprise that has already perpetrated larceny that is on the grandest scale in human history. We now have the most larcenous Congress in the nation's history. We now have the most larcenous Administration in the nation's history.

      There is no way that our children, grandchildren and subsequent generations will ever be able to get their country out of hock. Not only will we be passing on a public debt that is so large that it is a sad, sick joke, we will also be passing on a private sector economy that will have been decimated by the cost effects of the unthinking actions and uncontrolled excesses of the governments who have been in power during our lifetimes.

      Shame on us.

    9. Micki-Tamarac, FL says:

      I really don't care if these senators or conressmen are democrat or republican, I say if they are in office now they need to go.

      The democrats are getting away with murder and I don't see many republicans speaking up or doing anything to stop the crimes that are being perpetrated upon the people of the United States.

      I am watching the voting in the congress and the senate and I for one will support and vote for the peoople that oppose these bankrupting bills.

    10. philip says:

      THE DEM ARE TREADERS OF AMERICAN FREEDOM AND THE CONSTITUTION OF UNITED STATES,AND IT'S PEOPLE. CONGRESS MEN AND WOMEN NEED TO BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE DEM AND REP. THE DEM HAVE NOT LISTEN TO US POEPLE OF AMERICA.THE OBAMA CREW OF POLSIE HARRY REID AND THE REST OF DEM. CONGRESS HAVE LIED MADE SLANDEROUS STATEMENTS TO AND ABOUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ALONG WITH TOTAL DISREGARD WHAT WE WERE TELLING WHAT WE WANT THE DO NOT REPRESENT US OR AMERICA THEY REPRESENT THE UN, RUSSIA,CHINA,IRAN, CASTRO OUR ENMIES WHILE NOT SUPPORTING OUR NATO OR OUR OTHER ALLIES OR ARE MILTARY NEEDS MISSEL PROGRAMS ECT.OR OUR BRAVE MILTARY MEN AND WOMEN LET'S BOOT THEM OUT CLEAN OUT WASHINGTON.

    11. Lois, North Carolina says:

      We need to remove all congress people, all 545 of them to get our country out of this sink hole we are being pulled into. I am getting more angry by the day by what those elected people are trying to do to us. Their power hungry minds are destroying what we have worked 200 years to build up. But let us not stop fighting their efforts. We are more in number with 3.1 million than the 545 in Washington D.C.

    12. Jerry from Chicago says:

      It's like giving a group of monkeys a hammer and a pipe wrench and turning them loose in a Swiss watch factory with the instructions to build a Rolex.

    13. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      Could someone show a list of any senators running this year 2009, and those that will be running 2010, all of the house will be up for reelection 2010. I am already encouraging everyone to vote now in Virginia and New Jersey this year, and definetly next year. Somehow there are those who think only Presidential elections are important, they need to wake up and realize even local elections are important, these lead to the others.

    14. Duke, Ohio says:

      And yet, the Seante Fancypants Committe cons the CBO into assuming that this money is not spend on the future.

    15. Clearhead America says:

      Here we go, sheeple. DEPENDENCY is the last morphism before a return to BONDAGE. Actually we've done better than the average by 33 years! Anyway, happy slavery, everyone.

    16. Leon, Durango, CO says:

      Considering the party line votes on Amendments like the one forcing Congress members to read the Bill (Democrats all voted against and Republicans voted for) the Republicans are listening (finally). I don't think we should vote out the Republicans. They tried (and failed) but at least they tried.

    17. Olga; San Antonio,Te says:

      I agree with Lois up to a point. Most of our congressmen should be given the heave ho and a lot of our senators. However, we should not toss the baby out with the bath water. Sen. Cornyn of Texas is a very good senator who uses logical thinking to come to his conclusions. We need more like him in the Senate.

    18. Dick Wolbert, Santa says:

      Keep track of the way the Congress will vote on this matter.If wrong, vote them out. They seem to have lost their brains and hearts. I think they have stuffed them in their wallet!

    19. Corky says:

      I'm going to be a "Community" organizer and help people to get out and VOTE next year and help CLEAN the RATS out. I will give FREE rides to paople in my area, who wish to get to the polls. I will flat out let people know which Florida senators voted for this out lay of money called a healthcare bill. I will also tell them which senators DIDN'T stand up against it too. I'm going to be a real pain in the bottom for the congressmen of my state. Come on AMERICANS, lets show them who really runs this Big BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY!!!

    20. Nedra , Utah says:

      I agree the only way we are going to get our country back is by cleaning out the whold kit and cabuttle from Washington. Starting with the president down to the appointed czars, State Department, Cabinet. Nobody is listening to we the people. It's time to vote em out.

    21. Thomas Gray, Oregon says:

      The SGR is actually a separate problem from the overall healthcare debate. If no healthcare changes occur at least physicians will stop dropping Medicare patients from their practices due to underpayment.

    22. Pingback: Senate Health Care Shell Game « Thomas Jefferson Club Blog

    23. Pingback: The Senate Cloakroom: Oct. 19 – 23 | Conservative Principles Now

    24. Jan, Hurst, Texas says:

      IF 'WE THE PEOPLE" WOULD HOLD OUR SENATORS AND SPEAKER ACCOUNTABLE AND PURSUE WHAT WE WANT……

      THEN MAYBE….JUST MAYBE WE WILL WIN THIS WAR! UNTIL WE UNITE OUR DISCUSSIONS MEAN NOTHING!! TALK IS CHEAP. WHAT WE NEED IS ACTION!! IF I WAS NOT HANDICAPPED DUE TO STROKE I WOULD TRY TO DO MORE,YOU ALL WILL HAVE TO CARRY MY BANNER FOR ME … PLEASE DO IT BEFORE ITS TOO LATE AND WE ALL HAVE TO PAY DEARLY!

    25. Pingback: Next Week’s House Health Care Shell Game | Fix Health Care Policy

    26. Pingback: MI Politics » Senator Levin Demands “War Surtax”

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