Earlier, HughS highlighted testimony from Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, who bluntly told the Senate Budget Committee that ObamaCare would greatly increase both the Federal government’s involvement in our nation’s health care system, and the amount of money spend by the Federal government on health care, potentially expanding the size and cost of government beyond a sustainable level. Elmendorf convincingly blew a big hole in ObamaCare’s biggest selling point, which is that the program would mandate increased efficiency across the entire spectrum of health care and thus would eventually save a tremendous amount of money by lowering health care costs. Or as our eloquent Vice President recently explained it: “…we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt.”
Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh highlighted a different, and in many ways more alarming, aspect of Elmendorf’s testimony. Audio excerpts from the Elmendorf testimony were filled “we don’t know” and “we have yet to determine” and “I can’t answer that.” Essentially what Elmendorf told the Senate Budget Committee was that the CBO had not had time to fully digest the ObamaCare legislation, but from what work they were able to get done on the bill, the financial outlook was not good. This is serious, and terribly damning for Democrats — the party that promised “bipartisanship” and “openness” and “transparency” is attempting to ram potentially the single most destructive bill in the history of the United States through Congress before anyone has a chance to digest it and fully analyze its broad, long-term effects.
Of course the reason for this is simple — the more the bill is understood, the worse it looks. Consider President Obama’s continual promises of “competition” and “choice” and “if you’re happy with your existing insurance, you can keep it.” Investor’s Business Daily shattered these empty promises after reading only 16 pages of the 1000+ page House health care bill and discovering this shocking sentence:
“Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” (of the year the legislation becomes law)
In other words, private insurers will be banned from enrolling anyone after ObamaCare becomes law. This draconian restriction, combined with the certainty of a significant number of businesses switching to the ObamaCare “public option” because it inevitably will be priced far below the cost of private insurance, will surely spell the end of private health insurance except for only the very rich (and dare I say, members of Congress and high-ranking government bureaucrats). Over at Reason, Steve Chapman has more to say about ObamaCare’s false “competition,” including a point that I have previously made here at WizBang. Chapman writes, “Competition is healthy, but how are private companies supposed to compete with an operation that can tap the Treasury?”
Finally, the New York Post has created a handy chart to show how ObamaCare’s massive taxes and penalties will affect New Yorkers:
This chart perfectly illustrates how ObamaCare breaks yet another central Obama promise, that no one earning under $200,000 would see a single tax increase from his Administration. As the chart explains, a worker in New York City earning $80,000 a year (a modest sum of money for NYC) will be penalized (read: taxed) an additional $2000 annually if they do not have health insurance. And if you are high income earner, your total tax bill could approach 60 cents out of every dollar you earn.
It is obvious that the Obama Administration’s solutions for our current recession have been pitifully inadequate and at times genuinely puzzling. The financial sector (the recipients of the first and, to date, biggest Federal bailout) has announced stunning profits and reportedly has set aside tens of millions of dollars in bonus money for its highest-paid workers — arguably as a result of the TARP and PPIP Federal programs that empowered banks to re-classify toxic assets as income. But the rest of the private economy is in a free-fall, with double-digit unemployment looming and consumer confidence at all-time lows. State governments have so far been the major recipients of the Federal government’s stimulus largesse, while the private sector, particularly small business, remains financially squeezed and may have to swallow even more financial poison as a result of ObamaCare.
It’s almost as if … no, it is as if the Obama Administration is deliberately creating an economic system where banks and investment firms (who generate enormous incomes and, lest we forget, make incredibly generous contributions to political campaigns and lobbying efforts) receive “endangered species” status from the Federal government, and are allowed to thrive under the full protection of the Treasury and Federal Reserve. Perhaps the Obama Administration sees them as a goose that lays golden tax revenue eggs, and which must be kept well-fed and healthy at all costs. Perhaps they also see health care as the single most effective way to impose broad government control over the rest of the economy and the population at large.
Undoubtedly President Obama would tell us that in the end, everything under this system will be fair — everyone will have health care, the fattened financial sector will be appropriately taxed, governments will work more efficiently for the common good, etc. But whatever is going on, right now it seems scary as hell to me.