There were two snow jobs in Washington over the weekend. One came from the sky as a record December snowfall blanketed the city. The other came from Capitol Hill where the Senate labored to cover up the real effects of its massive "health care reform" bill.
All you need to know about this monstrosity is contained in a paragraph from page four of the Congressional Budget Office's 21-page letter to Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid: "According to CBO and (the Joint Committee on Taxation's) assessment, enacting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with the manager's amendment would result in a net reduction in federal budget deficits of $132 billion over the 2010-2019 period. In the subsequent decade, the collective effect of its provisions would probably be continued reductions in federal budget deficits if all of the provisions continued to be fully implemented. Those estimates are subject to substantial uncertainty."
So uncertain are they that the CBO later noticed an error in its calculations and a day later on Sunday, Dec. 20 delivered another letter to Senate leaders that said: "Correcting that error has no impact on the estimated effects of the legislation during the 2010-2019 period. However, the correction reduces the degree to which the legislation would lower federal deficits in the decade after 2019."
The public is being asked to swallow a bill that most senators haven't read, contains cost projections that are substantially uncertain, and touts outcomes that can be reasonably predicted to be nothing that resembles what Democrats are promising.
Senator Ben Nelson, Nebraska Democrat and a supposedly staunch pro-lifer, agreed to vote for the bill after, as The Washington Post put it, he got "abortion language" he wanted and "also secured other favors for his home state." That's what it's ultimately about: getting favors for your home state so you can be re-elected. Re-election trumps the Constitution and the will of the people, most of whom oppose the Senate and House health care "reform" bills.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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