Losing the fiscal argument on healthcare, GOP tries to discredit the referees

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Political Junky, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Political Junky
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    Political Junky Gold Member

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    Losing the fiscal argument on health care, Republicans try to discredit the referees

    Friday, January 21, 2011
    It's the age of civility in American politics, but there's one institution that's been civil all along: the Congressional Budget Office (sorry, but sometimes civility is boring). The nonpartisan agency, which calculates the official cost of legislation for Congress, speaks in the polite language of actuarial tables, refuses to reliably please or disappoint either party and is the closest thing American politics has to an umpire. And the Republicans are getting sick and tired of it.
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  2. The Rabbi
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    The Rabbi Diamond Member

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    The CBO is anything but reliable. They simply make calculations based on the assumptions and information given. The Dems figured out how to game the system by inputting unrealistic assumptions. The GOP is being rude enough to call them on this.
    Obamacare is a fiscal nightmare. How could it be otherwise? The American people understand this, with a majority believing it will add to the deficit, a correct belief btw.
     
  3. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    I suspect that the HC reforms enacted under Obama are doomed.

    This will bring us back to the same conditions that lead the Dems to attempt reform in the first place.

    Believe me, that system is ALSO unsustainable and doomed to fail us, so we can expect some other kind of "reform" in the future.

    One can only hope that neither a DEM nor a REP will be the author of that reform as both have proven to be not up to the task.
     
  4. code1211
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    code1211 Senior Member

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    I don't know...

    I think Obamacare is a rigged and gigged mess that will certainly be a catastophe if it's enacted. However, there are some pieces that are good ideas for the individuals insured and some that are not practicable in the real world due to the economics.

    That said, a combination of the good ideas from BOTH political sides like tort reform, nationally offered insurance pools, pre-existing condition insurance offereings and some form of extended insurance for children of the insured sound like good measures.

    The draconian practice of cutting the policy if someone gets sick is obviously just wrong and should be illegal if it's not. The Pelosi promise that benefits will never go down and costs will never go up is, well, a Pelosi promise. There's no way to condemn a promise more completely than saying that. That wild eyed whacko is a menace.

    Also, there has to be something like a Wal-Mart option for healthcare in which the poor and uninsured can get a prescription or a check up from some kind of a budget first outlet. The internet could and should be employed more widely.

    Unless the actual costs are reduced, the actual costs will not be reduced.

    Is that a thought that is just too obvious to be understood in Washington?

    None of the methods to "bend the curve" downward are included in Obamacare. From the results so far, the only curve bending measures bend things in the wrong direction.

    Obamacare takes the position that the river is flowing in the wrong direction and is trying to make the water flow upstream. The appraoch should be to see if the river can support various other channels and create them.

    Don't try to build a pyramid; just pitch a tent for the guy who needs it for a night's sleep. Then use that tent tomorrow for the next guy and so on.
     
  5. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    WE agree on that.

    And on that, too.


    Those ideas, while possibly being sound will ALSO fail.



    No argument from me on that, either.

    The whole idea that the problem is merely one of funding is flawed.

    Not a clue what the above means.


    Well its a drop dead certainty that we won't reduce prices by throwning more money at HC, isn't it?


    Is that a thought that is just too obvious to be understood in Washington?

    I totally agree.


    I've posted my objections to the current reforms many time on this board.



    Don't know what the above means, either.

    What I can tell you is that we cannot fix the HC problem by putting more people on government HC or by doing nothing, either.

    We do not have a demand side problem.

    Demand will expand to suck up every cent we throw into HC

    We do have a supply side problem.

    HC providers are making too god damned much money and there's not enough of them.

    That's a SUPPLY SIDE problem.

    Look, the whole theory of pricing depends on a theory that does NOT apply in HC.

    The theory of man as a RATIONAL CONSUMER.

    That's a preposterous assumption to begin with and an ESPECIALLY preposterous assumption when it comes to HC.
     
  6. Wry Catcher
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    Wry Catcher Platinum Member

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    I love the word "Obamacare"; Obama cares. I suppose some Republicans care but the leadership's care seems to be focused on the Republican Party's future, not my future, your future or our kid's futures.
    Blaming Obama for the rise in the cost of medical care and getting people to believe it is masterful. If only the Republican leadership were honest the problems might be more easily defined (pointing fingers is easy, defining problems not so much) and compromise might lead to win-win solutons. As it stands we are watching a zero sum game played out by the Republican leadership which assures losers.
     
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  7. Mr.Fitnah
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    Mr.Fitnah Dreamcrusher

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    With this kind of track record?




    Medicare (hospital insurance). In 1965, as Congress considered legislation to establish a national Medicare program, the House Ways and Means Committee estimated that the hospital insurance portion of the program, Part A, would cost about $9 billion annually by 1990.v Actual Part A spending in 1990 was $67 billion. The actuary who provided the original cost estimates acknowledged in 1994 that, even after conservatively discounting for the unexpectedly high inflation rates of the early ‘70s and other factors, “the actual [Part A] experience was 165% higher than the estimate.”

    Medicare (entire program). In 1967, the House Ways and Means Committee predicted that the new Medicare program, launched the previous year, would cost about $12 billion in 1990. Actual Medicare spending in 1990 was $110 billion—off by nearly a factor of 10.

    Medicaid DSH program. In 1987, Congress estimated that Medicaid’s disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments—which states use to provide relief to hospitals that serve especially large numbers of Medicaid and uninsured patients—would cost less than $1 billion in 1992. The actual cost that year was a staggering $17 billion. Among other things, federal lawmakers had failed to detect loopholes in the legislation that enabled states to draw significantly more money from the federal treasury than they would otherwise have been entitled to claim under the program’s traditional 50-50 funding scheme.

    Medicare home care benefit. When Congress debated changes to Medicare’s home care benefit in 1988, the projected 1993 cost of the benefit was $4 billion. The actual 1993 cost was more than twice that amount, $10 billion.

    Medicare catastrophic coverage benefit. In 1988, Congress added a catastrophic coverage benefit to Medicare, to take effect in 1990. In July 1989, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) doubled its cost estimate for the program, for the four-year period 1990-1993, from $5.7 billion to $11.8 billion. CBO explained that it had received newer data showing it had significantly under-estimated prescription drug cost growth, and it warned Congress that even this revised estimate might be too low. This was a principal reason Congress repealed the program before it could take effect.

    SCHIP. In 1997, Congress established the State Children’s Health Insurance Program as a capped grant program to states, and appropriated $40 billion to be doled out to states over 10 years at a rate of roughly $5 billion per year, once implemented. In each year, some states exceeded their allotments, requiring shifts of funds from other states that had not done so. By 2006, unspent reserves from prior years were nearly exhausted. To avert mass disenrollments, Congress decided to appropriate an additional $283 million in FY 2006 and an additional $650 million in FY 2007.

    http://jec.senate.gov/republicans/p...orm_Cost_Estimates_Reliable__July_31_2009.pdf

    What could possibly go wrong?
     
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  8. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Right...When your crammed-down-the-throat policy goes over like a turd in the punch bowl, it's best to get your name dissociated from it post haste. :rolleyes:
     
  9. DaGoose
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    DaGoose Gold Member

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    I don't know if Obamacare is the whole answer or even the right answer. But what we should be able to agree on is that the HC system is BROKEN and only getting worse. People who got sick or injured were going bankrupt because they couldn't afford the HC premiums. And when the hospitals couldn't collect on the bills they would simply pass the costs onto the rest of us.

    Forcing people to buy HC coverage and subsidizing premiums for the lower income only promotes social responsibility. No longer will it be acceptable to expect everyone else to pay for your decision to not buy HC. That's why I agreed with forcing people to buy auto insurance.

    I say give Obamacare a chance to work and solve the problems as they occur.
     
  10. martybegan
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    martybegan Gold Member

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    Charles Krauthammer has a good article (ironically from the same paper) that goes over some of the critiques of the numbers from the CBO. Krauthammer is usually regarded as one of the more level headed voices on the right.

    Charles Krauthammer - Everything starts with repeal
     

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