The rush to "do something" to reform health care is doubly dangerous and counterproductive because the numbers used by the President don't add up — not remotely.
The President and his budget office vow that the as-yet-incomplete plan will be "deficit neutral." Why then has it been exempted from the new "pay as you go" spending rules? Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost of the Senate's Kennedy-Dodd health care bill at $1.6 trillion over 10 years. And that's just for the portions that have been unveiled.
Get this: despite the embarrassment of voting for a non-stimulative stimulus bill that they couldn't take time to read, Democrats are now amending a health care bill even before a complete version has been introduced — a process Sen. John McCain aptly labeled "a joke."
CBO's estimate does not include the cost for Obama's "public option," under which a government insurance program would compete with private plans. An independent analysis by the Lewin Group suggest that up to 119 million people currently insured by their employers could be shifted to a public plan.
So Obama claims he can create a new health care program nearly three times the size of Medicare and that he can do it for free? Compared to that, loaves and fishes are child's play.
Given that 67 percent of Americans still rate their own health care coverage as excellent or good and that the federal government's existing health care programs are budget-busters, President Obama should take some divine advice: "Physician, heal thyself."
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