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  • Reid 2.0: It's Still a Budget Buster

    The Obama White House and its congressional allies have tried all year to push their various bills through to passage by truncating the time between introduction and a decisive vote to the bare minimum. They figure the only way to get something passed is to minimize public review and scrutiny of whatever their latest idea is to engineer American health care from Washington, D.C.

    To date, that tactic hasn’t worked out so well. In July, House Democrats tried to unveil a bill on the 14th for a planned vote on the 31st. A firestorm erupted, however, pushing back the vote into November. In the Senate, meanwhile, a series of self-imposed deadlines have been missed as Democratic pronouncements of inevitability have bumped up against the reality of steadfast and growing public opposition.

    Nonetheless, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is running the same play again today, and very possibly with different results. He unveiled the latest version of his reform legislation this morning, filled to the brim with outrageous payoffs to buy the votes of holdout Senators. Virtually no one else has seen the bill before today, much less had a chance to give it the scrutiny it deserves. And certainly the public has not had a chance to weigh in. No matter. Senator Reid has simultaneously set in motion the procedures necessary to force a vote on his new health-care plan in a matter of hours, not weeks.

    And yet, despite the unprecedented effort to short-circuit public review and input, it is likely that this latest version of the Reid plan will be just as unpopular as the previous one, and for many of the same basic reasons.

    According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the amended Reid plan would reduce the federal budget deficit by $132 billion over the period 2010 to 2019, but that is a mirage.

    For starters, as CBO notes, the bill presumes that Medicare fees for physician services will get cut by more than 20 percent in 2011, and then stay at the reduced level indefinitely. There is strong bipartisan opposition to such cuts. Fixing that problem alone will cost more than $200 billion over a decade, pushing the Reid plan from the black and into a deep red.

    Then there are the numerous budget gimmicks and implausible spending reductions. The plan’s taxes and spending cuts kick in right away, while the entitlement expansion doesn’t start in earnest until 2014, and even then the real spending doesn’t begin until 2015. According to CBO, from 2010 to 2014, the bill would cut the federal budget deficit by $124 billion. From that point on, it’s essentially deficit neutral — but that’s only because of unrealistic assumptions about tax and Medicare savings provisions. By 2019, the entitlement expansions to cover more people with insurance will cost nearly $200 billion per year, and grow every year thereafter at a rate of 8 percent. CBO says that, on paper, the tax increases and Medicare cuts will more than keep up, but, in reality, they won’t. The so-called tax on high cost insurance plans applies to policies with premiums exceeding certain thresholds (for instance, $23,000 for family coverage). But those thresholds would be indexed at rates that are less than health-care inflation — forever. And so, over time, more and more plans, and their enrollees, would bump up against it until virtually the entire U.S. population is enrolled in insurance that is considered “high cost.”

    Similarly, the Medicare cuts assume that hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and others can survive with a permanent annual cut in their payment rates for presumed productivity gains. Medicare’s chief actuary has already signaled that this reduction could push one in five hospitals into insolvency, thus forcing them out of the Medicare program.

    What’s more, the benefit promises are sure to expand well beyond what CBO has assumed. There are 127 million people living in households with incomes between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty line, but CBO assumes that only 18 million of them will get the new subsidized insurance under the Reid plan by 2015 because of rules that make most workers ineligible for assistance. But, if enacted, employers would find ways to push more workers into subsidized arrangements, and Congress would loosen the rules to make more people eligible. Costs would grow much faster than CBO currently projects. In addition, the Reid plan continues to include a new entitlement program for long-term care that every actuary who has looked at it says is a financial disaster waiting to happen. If passed, it would only be a matter of time before another federal bailout would be necessary.

    It is now plain as day that the Reid plan has evolved into nothing more than a massive entitlement expansion, which subsidizes more people into an unreformed system with soaring costs. Several Senate Democrats claim to be strong fiscal conservatives. Their votes on the Reid legislation will provide conclusive evidence whether that’s true or not.

    Cross Posted from National Review Online

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    40 Responses to Reid 2.0: It's Still a Budget Buster

    1. Pingback: Healthcare Bill is Still a Budget Buster « iWill Blog

    2. Stephen, Logan Utah says:

      It's funny that now wee have a bill that reduces the federal deficit and the right-wing is fighting against it. It is not too difficult to see through your thin veil.

    3. Heather L, West Virg says:

      The most maddening part of all this is the utter lack of representation by our senators. They are more concerned about party lines than what their constituents want. I know mine have disregarded the people.

      I and my children have serious health concerns. We do not wnt this abomination of a health bill to pass. Some areas of health care do need reform but this is too much, too fast, and for all the wrong reasons.

      God bless

      Heather L

    4. terra St. Louis says:

      How do we stop them and how do we let them know the majority of the American people don't want this bill. I am ready to vote them all out. I am tired of paying these guys to lie sheat a steal from America

    5. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      The States need to get their brightest Constitutional scholars onboard and take this to the Supreme Court before the court gets packed with any more activist legislators from the bench! They can also file a separate suit addressing the unconstitutional mandate threatening Americans with jail/fine.

      NOW, maybe well-meaning Democrats will understand the danger of allowing the radical left-wing of their party to speak on their “behalf”. Ultimately, the Democrats will suffer as well.

      These leftists make no distinction in destroying any opposition. Their oratory, arrogance, smoke and mirrors, and flat out bribery is a disgrace. Most importantly, they are not protecting the Constitution and they are not representing the will of the American people.

      So, what is their purpose in office? Power – period.

    6. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      I'm sure most Texans will contribute to putting up a border wall along the Potomac. All leftist can then join their socialist senator, Harry, in his eastern fantasy swamp land.

    7. Pingback: Senate ObamaCare funds Elective Abortions; details hidden in legalese « VotingFemale Speaks!

    8. Bobbie Jay says:

      Filled with corruption! Why is this even being allowed?

    9. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      Dear Stephen Logan, Utah,

      With all due respect, you do not know what you are talking about.


      First, Harry ensured that the "Doctor Fix", e.g., doctor reimbursement for accepting medicare, 250 BILLION dollars was removed from the bill. Why? Because it would push the total figure over 1 trillion. That bill will be voted on separately, manipulating the numbers, eh?

      Second, if that was not bad enough, the 871 BILLION dollars in the Senate Bill does not account for "the 10 YEAR PERIOD". It starts collecting money for 4-5 years before most people see any "so-called" health care. The actual cost for the entire 10 year period is REALLY 2.5 TRILLION, give or take a few billion.

      If that was not bad enough, how are we going to sustain this monster when the second 10-year period begins, and the 3rd, and the 4th?

      I suppose you believe it is ok for Nebraska to get a social free-loading free ride on Medicaid – forever? Farmers are proud people. I predict the Nebraskans will be ashamed at the image their Senator cast upon them. I KNOW 46 States are not going to put up with this.

    10. Paul H. Briger/ Mass says:

      The health care bill is not about reform but governmental control and a massive redistribution of wealth, from the most productive to the least. We are facing a new populist tyranny that disregards the wishes of the majority of US citizens. Every step of the Executive and Legislative Branch seems intended to move forward an agenda contrary to traditional mainstream values.

    11. Pingback: Harry Reid’s Dirty Game « Chicagobluesgirl’s Blog

    12. David, Raleigh says:

      This bill is vile and unconstitutional. No question. The only question is, how are those who vote for it 'upholding and defending the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic'? The argument that Social Security, Medicare, etc. were all similarly unconstitutional doesn't hold water with me. Just because their predecessors pushed through unconstitutional bills that we are now used to (and a significant number of people rely upon) doesn't make them any less unconstitutional.

    13. Space Bisbee, Az says:

      Is this not why we fought a Revolutionary War, lack of representation? Is this not TREASON? Where does Reid and the rest get off telling a Free Society that they will HAVE to have Health Insurance or be fined? And finally, if this is so great, why won't they(our so called elected representatives), be covered under their own bill? BECAUSE IT IS BULL!!!


    14. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 12.21.2009 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    15. Bob, Portland, OR says:

      Look what our country has been reduced to, we disagree with them, they call us names.

      They call us right wing nut jobs.

      They are going to be looking for jobs in 2010 & 12.

      Another thing, I want a new law passed that says former politicians, like Harry Reid, can't come back into the government system as an advisor or lobbyist for 5 to 10 years.

      Harry and others are being promised something when they are gone from office.

    16. Pingback: Socialists Claim They Can Conquer Death Itself « VotingFemale Speaks!

    17. Pingback: Reid 2.0: It’s Still a Budget Buster | The Foundry | Cogito Ergo Blog

    18. Webster, KC says:

      The republicans the last eight years didn't even try to pay for any of their bills. Not for prescription drugs, the war, no child left behind, nothing. At least Obama is trying to pass budget neutral bills. It's more than the Republicans have EVER done. In fact both Rumsfeld and Cheney are on record saying "deficits don't matter" numerous times.

      Hell, Reagan increased the budget deficit from under 1 trillion to almost 4 trillion during his presidency.

      Pepublicans? Conservative? That's funny.

    19. Rick West, MN says:

      Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Al Gore, the cap and trade bill and this healthcare monstrosity are the best thing to happen to the conservative movement since Ronald Reagan. When we take over (and we will starting this time next year) we'll need to govern using Common Sense as our main mantra.

    20. Pingback: CNN Wins VF’s Worst Socialist News Liar Of The Year « VotingFemale Speaks!

    21. Clyde, Odessa, TX says:

      While apparently this Senate bill has cut funding for abortion, the house bill has not. The Democrats have said that a country should be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens.

      Well let's see…they want to cut Medicare funding which attacks the very old and most vulnerable, and they want to use that money to pay for federally funded abortions, which attacks the very young and most vulnerable. The dirty little secret of the Democratic Party is not only political control, but also population control.

    22. Greg, Newport News, says:

      No healthcare reform is what it is without first starting with TORT REFORM. Never will have true health reform, too many piggy hands in the grab bag.

      Obama actually said a few hours ago that this bill will SAVE billions of dollars in the first few years and a trillion 20 years out… That's what you call a truly whopper of a lie!!!

      But the lies are there, along with this bill, and the political monument to himself to get something done in thine name… we really have screwed this republic up with this meglo-egomaniac man-child at the helm.

    23. Grace, Florida says:

      Look all of you blaming the Republicans for the last eight years need to get over it. Step back and take a good look at what's going on here. Yea, the Republicans were big spenders but come on this is insanity. I really think a good majority of you Libs still hate Bush and that's why for stand behind this bafoon and the other circus animals in Congress. Don't you see what's going on? Don't you see the deciet and corruption and the outright lies BOBO told? Think about it!

    24. Pingback: Right Wing Nut House » REFORM IS A TRIUMPH OF PROCESS OVER PRUDENCE

    25. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      Webster, KC,

      The majority of the people in this country are going to take back their country whether you and your ilk like it or not.

      We will not kowtow or accept a European-style socialist state. We are not going to be intimidated by thug-style politics, SEIU, or any other left-wing group. We will not apologize for America. And, we will not allow our hard-earned dollars to go to the global warming scheme.

      The left-wingers better keep pillaging our wealth while they have the chance. The majority of the people in this country will never forget this steam-rolling tactic against the will of the people.

    26. Floridian For Freedo says:

      KC Webster, you sir, with your comments, embody exactly what is wrong with this country right now. This is not a partisan issue. The prior administration left us with an $800B deficit, much of which was uncalled for. Then, the current group of Democratic carpet baggers arrived in Washington at the beginning of this year and have run the deficit in a short 11 months to record heights at $1.4T, so high in fact that the Congress had to vote to increase the country's debt ceiling another $800B which is only projected to carry the country through until next summer. Don't even begin to play partisian games on this topic. Both parties have been responsible for our ridiculous deficit spending, but the democrats in Washington right now own the prize for the total amount of irresponsible spending, and as such, are the 'current' enemy at hand.

      Oh, and to the issue of the annointed One's efforts at creating a deficit neutral bill, riddle me this. How can any program add 40m people to its rolls without increasing costs? It can't, and any lies to the contrary are just that. The current Reid bill is simply smoke and mirrors and in the end, accomplishes none of the current president's 'published' goals other than moving a massive amount of additional control over the populace into Washington. For that one goal, the current bill is a resounding success (or failure, depending upon your perspective).

      So to recap, the current Reid bill:

      - Is resoundingly unconstitutional with its mandates.

      - Is no where close to budget neutral. It will add several trillion to the current budget during the second ten years of its implementation.

      - Is overwhelmingly opposed by voters in virtually every reputable poll.

      - Allows, for the first time in 30+ years that Federal funds may pay for abortions.

      - Raises everyone's healthcare costs.

      - Raises taxes on millions who will still go uninsured.

      - Tax and cost increases occur for taxpayers and businesses during the worst recession and unemployment in the past 26 years, which should have devistating impacts to any economic recovery.

      - Leaves approximately 20M people still uninsured, but now subject to paying fines/penalties which will likely be paid for through additional Federal subsidies (i.e. more costs to working/producing taxpayers).

      - Provides sweetheart deals to 'some' states at the expense of the rest which in and of itself may be unconstitional, but is certainly unconscienable.

      - Has not been available online for review by the public (or anyone else) for 72 hours before any action by Congress as promised by our president.

      - Breaks the president's repeated pledges of tansparency in his administration.

      - Will likely be voted on before any elected official has even had an opportunity to read and explore what is in the bill and/or its potential ramifications.

      - To date is a straight party line vote for re-structuring 1/6th of the US economy by the party in charge that has failed miserably on ever economic policy and legislation they've enacted over the past year.

      Yep, sounds like a resounding success for the current administration. I just try and keep the quote, "Arrogance goeth before a fall", firmly in my mind. We've certainly seen the arrogance over the past year, I can only the fall is right around the corner given current voter sentiment. Let's just hope whoever is elected next year understands the basic principles of balancing a checkbook, which is apparently way beyond the mental aptitude of the current crop of elcted officials in Washington.

    27. Pingback: Very important Action Alert! «

    28. Sheri says:

      The CBO director has either been bought off or threatened by Obama. This bill won't save money – it will explode the deficit, according to the CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services), another government agency that gave a less biased assessment of the bill.

      I can't wait to join the campaign against our local Demoncratic congressman. He will be gone in November, along with many others.

    29. Kristina, Gloucester says:

      Floridian for Freedom – Thank you for your correct analysis. And for those who would like to point out the deficits of the 80's? (Bad Reagan, bad bad Reagan?) The truth is that the evil prosperity of the 80's also brought unprecendented amounts of money in the treasury. The deficits were caused by the Democrat majority in congress at the time continuing to not only take advantage of the evil wealth of the country but to spend more that what they had. Always remember who controls the purse strings. Progressives can blame Defense spending all they want, but when spending on defense consistantly stands at between 4 and 5% of GDP for the past 40 years, it wasn't defense spending the "broke" the budget, but money spread to "worthy causes" that contributed nothing to the economy. It is impossible for there the be any deficit neutrality or any deficit reduction without any growth in the sector from which the money must come – the private sector. Government can only run on the confiscation of monies from people who make a salary and a profit. Otherwise, we end up in the Utopian commune, where everyone ends up fighting for the scraps.

    30. Rob, Grayslake, Illi says:

      My God what has happened to this once great nation that our founding fathers and patriots after them fought so hard to establish and maintain? I may not be able to trace my roots back to England since i am one of this country's mutts made up of Puerto Rican,English,German,Polish and Italian heritage, i told you i was a mutt. I am thankful i was born in this great land and reaped the benefits that others before me struggled and even died for.

      Why are we allowing our elected representatives to run amok with no regards to the Constitution or laws of this country. A large majority of our Congress should be arrested for treason and put in front of a firing squad as traitors to this country's laws and people. They do not represent me but their own selves and agendas to destroy anything or anyone held in high esteem from the lies of revisionist history berating our founding fathers to no longer allowing the one God that gave us this land.

      I hope that people are awakening to our country being hijacked from domestic terrorists called the U.S. Congress and Supreme Court who care not about the law of the land, but how to circumvent that law to fit themselves and dirty deeds done in the middle of the night. America, it is time for another revolution and we will not be fighting the British but our own tyrannical government who have made serfs of its citizens while they live like fattened kings.

    31. Doug, NM says:

      To Stephen in Logan Utah –

      Sorry an inexperienced college child is snowed-in in Logan, where yes I have been, and you are going stir crazy.

      The b o death-care bill is 95 percent about controlling Americans, removing more of our freedom, (read the U. S. Constitution please, Stephen), and 5 percent about sickness-care.

      There will be NOBODY getting "benefits" for the first FOUR YEARS. Taxes & penalties will go up immediately, but coverage will NOT start until 2014, (even in Logan, Utah).

      Stephen, while you go to college on the "government's" money for 4 years, there will be NO JOB to go to when you graduate, since b. o. is deliberately ruining the American economy.

      Stephen, b.o., being "raised" in Indonesia, does not understand Americans and does not think like an American, so it was a bad choice for the Democrats to commit suicide of their party by putting up this foreigner for any office at all.

      Stephen, my hope for you is that you actually READ the U. S. Constitution, including the very necessary Bill of Rights, and then start some small business of your own, and learn EVERY DAY.

      Stephen, my best to you in your educating of yourself.

      As for me, I have already gotten tired of snow shovels, but now we also have had to shovel obama's brown snowjob.

    32. Dennis, Fargo, ND says:

      Health Care Reform is not about improving our healthcare system at all. If it was we could do that with $200 billion not $2.5 trillion. And a lot less rules and regs. Rather, this is all about government control and political power over 1/6 of of our economy. We must retake control in 2010 and then proceed to change much of this mess and save the taxpayers of America billions!

    33. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      I've got a suggestion for lowering the deficit, first fire all these so called Tsars, then fire all but 2 of Michelle's helpers, no other first Lady needed 20+ asst's, that should save a bundle, then lets look at these "for life" benefits for congress, then roll back these raises they just voted themselves and their office staffs, no raises to any Gov't. without increase to elderly. If Elderly get no increase there cannot be an increase inMedicare premiums, nor cuts in service, and get rid of the press sec. he is the worse one I've ever seen or heard.

    34. Nibot, Las Vegas says:

      Political Parties "are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion. … The common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it."

      President George Washington

      (From Washington's farewell address to the American people)

      We have been unwise, and we have lost our republic to a demogoge with his cadre of "cunning, ambitious and unprincipled" men. We lack the courage to retain our liberty. We have failed!

    35. Pingback: Rainy Skies » In the News – 12/21/2009

    36. russ, fort wayne IN says:

      I wish there was a national vote of no confidence and we could throw the whole lot of them out. It is the fox gaurding the hen house. Time for civil disobedience!!! try goooh.com

    37. Kurt, Colorado says:

      All states need to seriously move towards legislation of their own to nullify this atrocity of a bill. Arizona and numerous other states are already proposing legislation in 2010 to nullify any federal healthcare bill, referencing the 10th Amendment. Other than that, let the lawsuits fly challenging the constitutionality of the bill.

      Check out this website below, and scroll down to read the article on nullification for reference. Pass it on and let's get behind the movement to nullify.


    38. Hawkins from Texas says:

      Texas has the constitutional right to suceed from the union or to form five seperate states. Our Governor this past year brought up the subject of sucession and was ridiculed by the liberal newspapers in our area. At first I thought sucession was a good idea but now I'm MAD and ready for a fight. Our country is a Christian country regardless of Barrack HUSSEIN Obama's edict. As others in this blog have stated he has gone back on everything he said about a transparent administration and in my own mind started to dismantle our free country. It is time for thousands not to parade in front of the White House or Capitol building but to demonstrate in front of every major TV station and newspaper office so that it has to be covered! Any other time something is done the people are called right wing fanatics stirred up by Fox talking points. As Patrick Henry so aptly stated "GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH" and I don't plan on going down easily!

    39. Robert, Tennesse says:

      The Congressman was right, "You lie!"

      If this all passes, there won't be Medicare cuts…There won't be 14 million still uninsured…Once passed, the Dems will try and cow-tow the Reps into "closing the gaps" and insure the rest of our "long suffering" population. Arguments will be made that all human beings (aliens of all varieties (legal and illegal)) must be covered, and more $$$ will be provided to the system, all the while, our financial wheels will start to wobble and finally come off the whole system in 2016-2020.

      There were, and still are, ways to make our current good system better. But this monster isn't it…further, off the subject…

      If you want to really have a good laugh, read the House's "Cap and Trade" (or is it called "Energy Independence for America" or some other obfuscatingly named) Act. Geesh we need some common sense in the D.C., from people who have once upon a time had a job, and weren't the (egotistical) "doing my work for America" crowd up there.

      They have forgotten that they exist to represent and serve Americans, not that we exist to serve them. I resent their lack of respect for the average American. I am not a tax-payer, I am an American citizen, along with most of the 300 million others. And they were hired to work for us, not against us. Thanks for reading, and Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays.

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