Jeffery H. Anderson at NRO’s Critical Condition blog notes a few things about the Baucus bill that should cause everyone concern:
It would reduce Americans’ liberty by requiring them to buy health insurance and fining them if they don’t.
It would ruin private insurance by requiring insurers to cover all comers at the same premium. In doing so, it would thereby give people — especially the young and healthy — a colossal incentive not to buy insurance (despite the fines), knowing that, anytime they get sick, they can buy “insurance” at that point, and can do so at the same premium as if they’d been paying into the insurance pool all along. The combination of insurers having to cover people with expensive preexisting conditions at premiums that won’t cover those people’s costs, and of millions opting out because they can opt back in with no penalty at any point, would cause everyone else’s insurance premiums to skyrocket. This, not the “public option,” is the real stealth attack on private insurance.
The bill would cost nearly $1 trillion over ten years and would provide federal government subsidies — not tax-breaks, but actual subsidies — to families making up to $88,000 a year (400 percent of poverty). If, with inflation, the poverty-rate rises three percent a year, then by 2014 the federal government would be subsidizing those making over $100,000.
According to the CBO, the bill would be paid for through a roughly even mix of tax-increases and “savings” squeezed out of Medicare. The tax-increases would total $354 billion over ten years. The Medicare cuts are either fanciful, in which case the bill would cause deficits to explode, or else they are real, in which case seniors will be the ones to explode. Seniors had no problem making themselves heard at the August town-hall protests, but President Obama and Senator Baucus seem to have turned a deaf ear.
With this knowledge, is it any wonder Baucus presented this bill to America on Wednesday with no one by his side? As Huckabee said on Fox the other night, it is in a way a bipartisan bill in that large numbers of both parties hate it.