Thursday, July 16, 2009

The True Cost of ObamaCare Not Scored

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), under some pressure from Progressives, scored the proposed ObamaCare health care reform bill to cost $1.3 trillion in the next 10 years.

That would be "only" $130 Billion more per year. And if it were the true cost, that would be a bargain compared to everything else the President and this wild-eyed Congress are doing.

But it is not the true cost.

The bill defers much of the cost past the 10-year study period where basic costs will run nearly double, about $260 Billion a year. Anyone familiar with the federal government knows that this is a bogus number. Program costs are always, repeat always, higher than projected. Look at Medicare Part D!

What is not calculated is the cost to private employers with the employer mandate provision.

What is not projected is the cost of to Medicare, which will absorb some of the people this bill claims to be putting on federal insurance, but instead will kick over to that failing old program. (By the way, the unfunded liabilities of Medicare are now somewhere north of Alpha Centauri, like $37 Trillion.)

Under ObamaCare any business with a payroll of more than $400,000 -- the classic definition of small businesses -- must offer health insurance (up to federal standards) to its employees or pay a penalty equal to 8 percent of its payroll. This will cost jobs; Lord knows how many.

You've probably heard that the ObamaCare bill will tax millionaires, and you're probably okay with that. I could waste my time and say "shame on you" but instead I will point out that the bill does much more than that. It would begin to apply an income tax "surcharge" on couples (not individuals) making over $350,000) at 1 percent. At $500,000 it would rise to 1.5 percent, and at the $1 Million mark it would be 5.4 percent.

That doesn't affect me directly, but indirectly it affects everybody as these are the people who run businesses and hire new employees. With the country in the throes of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the Progressives want to make it more likely that people will lose their jobs, and refuse to hire new people.

That's sort of insane.

In the State of New York the news is creating near panic conditions for business people. Today's NY Daily News reports that, combined with higher state taxes, the bite on many New Yorkers will approach 60 percent! "Terrifying" is how they describe it.

We have not even begun to touch on such things as rationed care, individual insurance mandates (you will be forced to purchase health insurance even if you do not want it, or think you need it), and a proposal to cap itemized deductions that would include gifts to charities. The cost of this bill is not $1.3 Trillion. It will be many, many times that.

And what price tag do you put on your freedom?

There is one other pesky little problem that, sadly, no one is discussing: The U.S. Constitution does not empower the federal government to operate a health insurance program, or to establish a bureaucracy that will control the health care industry. The new bill will "claim" that health care is a basic right of all Americans, but that is merely a piece of legislation. It is not an amendment to the Constitution where no such right exists.

There are good reasons that the Founding Fathers did not want the government to have that authority. A government big enough to be nanny to everyone is also big enough to take away the basic freedom of choice that we enjoy.

Federalizing health care -- socialized medicine, if you will -- is part of the Progressive, liberal end-game to put an end to basic American liberty and values.

If this is allowed to pass, the country that we know and love may be beyond recovery.

If you are not calling, faxing, e-mailing your congresspersons or attending a rally Friday for "No ObamaCare," then why not? You may not be able to do a lot, but you can do something.

The President is now calling for his health care plan to be rammed through Congress as soon as possible, maybe even this week. The bill, once again, is a massive tome with more words than the combined Old and New Testaments, and few have read much of it. I don't know if anyone has read the whole thing.

But Obama says hurry, and his Progressive minions scurry to obey.

Please do not sit idly by while this happens to us again.

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