The Worst of Both Worlds

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Dec 11, 2009 3:33 PM
A memo put out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that the Senate health care bill would increase costs by $234 billion (or .7%) between 2010 and 2019.

Obviously, this hardly jibes with Democrats' claims that they are trying to impose health care reform as a way to control costs.

What' s more, this will only exacerbate the problem of Medicare Part A going broke by 2017.  But hey, if you're a Democrat, what's an extra hundred billion here or there?  Perhaps they're counting on Saul Alinsky's assurance that "Millions of Americans do not know how many million dollars make up a billion."

The problem for Democrats is that most Americans understand that there is little in the new proposals that will be of benefit to them, personally (only 20% believe the new bill will help them, according to a new CNN poll) -- and so they're forced,  to argue that their motive also is, in part, to reduce health care costs.  Perhaps if people thought they would benefit from the program (or the economy was booming), Dems might get away with a budget-buster; or, if the program truly cut costs, maybe people would be willing to consider some changes.  

But here, Dems are stuck in the worst of both worlds -- a budget buster bill that people know won't help them, and might hurt  . . .  in the middle of tough economic times, it's a tough sell when people realize that as a result of an over-the-top spending bill, their health care is going to be taxed, regulated and with nothing for them, personally, to gain from it.