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  • Has Obamacare Already Won? Existing Government Programs to Take Over Health Care by 2012

    For the past several months, Washington has exhausted every possible method to pass a health care bill designed to increase government’s control over health care.  They haven’t been successful yet, but that may not matter: even without Obamacare, government health spending is set to increase far faster than private health expenditures, surpassing the private sector as soon as 2012.

    Today the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its projections of national health expenditures for the next ten years.  The report shows that spending by the public sector grew much faster in 2009 at 8.7 percent, compared to the private sector which only grew at 3.0 percent.  Though public spending was heightened by the recession, as unemployment caused more Americans to lose employer-sponsored coverage and enroll in Medicaid, the trend is expected to continue into the next decade.

    What is more, the report bases its projections on current law.  In the case of Medicare, this underestimates future spending.  Under current law, Medicare is set to reduce physician reimbursement rates by 21.3 percent in 2010.  This would lead to growth in Medicare spending of just 1.5 percent in 2010. However, the likelihood of these cuts coming to fruition is slim to none, as every year, Congress votes to suspend them.  2010 will likely be no different.  A report by Health Affairs cites that, if physician payment rates are held constant, the more likely growth in Medicare will be 5.1 percent in 2010.  Whether or not these physician cuts occur is no small matter—with them, overall health spending growth would be 3.9 percent.  Under the more likely scenario, health spending growth would be 4.7 percent.

    Thus far, the debate on health care reform has focused on increasing government spending to reduce the number of uninsured.  But government spending should be moving in the opposite direction.  With government spending growing at a fast clip, rather than overhaul the entire system, lawmakers should channel reform towards high-cost (and largely cost-inefficient) government programs, like Medicare and Medicaid.

    Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, the three entitlements big spenders, are duly in need of attention from Congress.  These programs will be responsible for unsustainable growth in government spending in the years to come, and will quickly become insolvent.  By reforming entitlement programs, Congress could kill two birds with one stone: achieve long sought-after health care reform and bend the cost curve in health care spending, all the while addressing the fiscal crisis facing the nation due to out-of-control spending.

    Rather than increase government’s role in the health care system, Congress should see the current trend for what it is: a cry for reform of existing government health care programs.  Getting public health spending under control would have a monumental effect on overall spending, directly and indirectly reducing costs for all Americans.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    23 Responses to Has Obamacare Already Won? Existing Government Programs to Take Over Health Care by 2012

    1. Bobbie Jay says:

      Mr. Obama, you adamantly stated but paraphrased, "we will fight this thing through." Your health care plan being the subject. We don't want to fight Mr. Obama. We expect any leader of America to serve the best interest of the people. To be fair and honest, which is the understanding the people have when they vote.

      Mr. Obama. We don't want to fight as much as we don't want your health care plan and or government intervention in the privacy of our health. Stay out, keep your violent tendencies to and within yourself and let the Constitution be your guide.

    2. Pingback: All American Blogger » “even without Obamacare, government health spending is set to increase far faster than private health expenditures…”

    3. Dusty, Indiana says:

      FA Hayek wrote in Road Serfdom about the Left's disingenuous claims that it just wants to move past economic quarrels and focus on people and hugging trees, etc. Liberals and progressives think of nothing BUT economics (most notably, other peoples' money they feel they have intrinsic claim to or power over).

      Conservatives and libertarians MUST start doing a better job of explaining and defending and promoting (tirelessly, I might add) the free market system and the inextricable links between religious, political and economics freedom.

      You gotta check out this article on that very topic: http://rjmoeller.com/2010/02/the-economics-of-mer

    4. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      What is sad was when military retirees were forced onto medicare after they turned 65. This was not what most career service members uderstood when they swore an oath to defend our nation. These individuals should continue to have primary coverage the rest of their days through the uniformed services' insurance which at present is Tri-Care.

    5. Mike Hardiman says:

      Look at the chart – it's not ObamaCare, it's BushCare!!! The biggest jumps in government control are under Bush Sr. (89 to 93) and Bush Jr. (01 to 09). Under Reagan and Clinton it was stable or declining. The Obama numbers are estimates, versus the Bush's socialism which are reality. This is why the GOP was thrown out of power, because we lost our reputation of fiscal responsibility.

    6. Mike Hardiman, DC says:

      from DC

    7. Pingback: Morning Bell: A Six-Hour Infomercial Can’t Save Obamacare | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    8. Pingback: Morning Bell: A Six-Hour Infomercial Can’t Save Obamacare | Step Down Obama

    9. Pingback: Obama Knows Obamacare Increases Government Control, Right? | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    10. jpdnp, MN says:

      J.C.Hughes in Tx, you give ignite a curiousity point for me. So many agrue against government intervention, support, and provision of health care benefits citing that the government doesn't know how to run efficient and effective health care delivery systems. What is our VA system and who supports and runs that system?

    11. Pingback: Morning Bell: A Six-Hour Infomercial Can’t Save Obamacare | Fix Health Care Policy

    12. Pingback: Obama Knows Obamacare Increases Government Control, Right? | Fix Health Care Policy

    13. Pingback: Morning Bell: President Obama’s “Pro-Business” Policies Are Killing the Free Market | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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    21. Pingback: All Rhetoric- No Reality from White House on Health Care « ccrofny's blog

    22. Pingback: WaPo Doesn’t Know Who Pays Health Care Bills | National Review Institute Blog

    23. Pingback: ‘Surprised’: that state in which blind ideologues like Obama repeatedly find themselves « Clear Thinking

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