When George Bush tried to tackle escalating Medicare and Medicaid costs and a looming entitlement catastrophe with modest funding cuts in both terms in office, Democrats screeched about seniors losing health care and pronounced Bush’s efforts dead on arrival on Capitol Hill. Now, with Barack Obama in the White House, Democrats have suddenly gone mute as the administration proposes to cut hundreds of billions from both programs. Verum Serum puts together the Democratic Primal Scream Greatest Hits collection, complete with a finale from The Crickets … or some crickets, anyway:
The guys at VS put the cuts at $622 billion, while Bloomberg puts it at $400 billion, plus $600 billion in tax hikes:
Health-care overhaul legislation being drafted by House Democrats will include $600 billion in tax increases and $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said.
Democrats will work on the bill’s details next week as they struggle through “what kind of heartburn” it will cause to agree on how to pay for revamping the health-care system, Rangel, a New York Democrat, said today. The measure’s cost is reaching well beyond the $634 billion President Barack Obama proposed in his budget request to Congress as a 10-year down payment for the policy changes.
Asked whether the cost of a health-care overhaul would be more than $1 trillion over a decade, Rangel said, “the answer is yes.” Some Senate Republicans, including Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, say the costs will likely exceed $1.5 trillion.
Either way, the Democrats have lost that sanctimonious scolding voice that they had no trouble using when Bush proposed cuts less than one-tenth what Democrats now propose.
Update: Morgen from VS tells me they got the $622 billion number from … the White House. Hope! Change! Empathy!