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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Today in Washington, D.C. - June 1, 2010 - CBO Director Confirms: Obamacare Won't Lower Health Costs

Congress may be on recess without a budget being introduced let alone passed, but the bureaucrats are still at work.  Or at least some of them. On one hand, The Daily Caller reported that the Obama Administration has missed the initial deadlines in the implementation of ObamaCare. "The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has already missed as many as four deadlines under the law – not on any major regulations — but still a worrying trend, critics say.  Congressional staff and industry representatives have also been asking HHS for a timeline specifying when it will issue the numerous regulations required by the law. They were shocked to find the agency has not produced such a document. . . . While missing the deadlines, the administration has found time to send promotional material touting the law’s benefit, including a brochure for senior citizens and post cards from the IRS advertising tax breaks under the law."  The Daily Caller identified a list of missed deadlines:

•April 1: Under section 5602, a progress report to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding developing a methodology for designating medically underserved populations and health professional shortage areas.
•April 22: Under section 1552, HHS must publish a list of new authorities it was granted by the health-care law. (Note: HHS says this deadline has been met).
•May 7: Under section 5104, HHS is to establish a task force on improving health care in Alaska.
•May 23: Under section 399NN, HHS is to establish a task force on breast cancer, part of legislation originally titled the EARLY Act.

However, the CBO is busy doing their job and the facts identify the opposite of the Democrats rhetoric. Throughout the health care debate last year, Americans were assured by President Obama and Democrats that their health care plans would lower health care costs and reduce government spending on health care. In his September address to a joint session of Congress, Obama said his plan “will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.” In December, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) warned that “without reform, health care expenditures will increase.” Obama said again in March this year, “[M]y proposal would bring down the cost of health care for … the federal government.” Later that month, some House Democrats based their vote for the bill on assurances the bill would lower health care costs. And when Republicans tried to point out that the Democrats’ plans would do none of these things, Baucus had a typical response: “Mr. President, the Republican Leader just a few moments ago says that this bill raises costs. With all due respect to my good friend from Kentucky, that statement is false.”

At the marathon health care summit in February, Vice President Joe Biden had one of his trademark moments of clarity when he said, “Unless we bend that cost curve, we're in trouble.” Well, the administration appears to be in trouble. Doug Elmendorf, the Director of the Congressional Budget Office, wrote yesterday that the Democrats’ health law doesn’t bend the cost curve down at all. Instead, costs are expected to increase. Elmendorf wrote, “The rising costs of health care will put tremendous pressure on the federal budget during the next few decades and beyond. In CBO’s judgment, the health legislation enacted earlier this year does not substantially diminish that pressure. In fact, CBO estimated that the health legislation will increase the federal budgetary commitment to health care . . . by nearly $400 billion during the 2010-2019 period.” Further, Elmendorf pointed out, “Because federal health care programs make up a large share of the federal budget, putting that budget on a sustainable path would almost certainly require a significant reduction in the growth of federal spending on health care relative to the amounts projected under current law (including this year’s health legislation).”

It’s almost becoming a daily event where some news story or new government assessment of the massive health care law shows that it will not or cannot live up to the promises made about it, and will in fact make the situation worse. No wonder Americans continue to disapprove of the Democrats’ health care law and don’t really believe it will improve their own health care. The health care bill was flawed from the beginning and every week, Americans see that the promises made about it simply don’t conform with reality. The law needs to be repealed and replaced.

President Obama made remarks on the economy today in Pittsburgh, PA which did not ring true with many. Following is a statement from noted economist Allan Meltzer of Carnegie Mellon University, a member of Leader Boehner’s informal "kitchen cabinet" of economists, responding to President Obama's remarks on the economy today in Pittsburgh: "When President Obama spoke at Carnegie Mellon University today, his rhetoric was divorced from current reality: his administration and the Congress continue to increase government spending. President Obama talks about reducing spending, but he hasn't vetoed a spending bill. Cities and states are about to go bankrupt or default on their debt, while the President mandates increased state spending for Medicaid. The reality is that the huge stimulus spending has done little to reduce unemployment. Long-term unemployment has never been higher in the past 60 years. Mr. President, it’s past time to rein in the government and put the country on a path to future prosperity so we don't end up like Greece."

Dr. Meltzer was one of 222 American economists who signed a letter to President Obama at the end of 2009 urging him to take action to rein in federal spending in order to boost the economy and create jobs.

House GOP Leader John Boehner (R-OH) also responded to the President's speech.  In his response, Boehner said: "[I]f the President is truly serious about helping our economy and saving our kids and grandkids from even more unconscionable debt, he should call on House and Senate Democrats to offer a budget that cuts spending right now to help create jobs."

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, CBO, ObamaCare, health care bill, broken promises, HHS, missed deadlines, the economy, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 4:58 PM - Post Link


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