Bombshell: CBO chief tells Congress ObamaCare will “significantly expand” federal spending; Report: Bipartisan deal close?

posted at 2:20 pm on July 16, 2009 by Allahpundit

I’m using “bombshell” unironically. You and I know that it’ll explode spending but The One’s actually been pitching this boondoggle — insanely — as a cost-saving measure, even though it’s common knowledge that ObamaCare 1.0, a.k.a. Medicare, is well on its way to bankrupting America.

The cat’s all the way out of the bag now.

Conrad: Dr. Elmendorf, I am going to really put you on the spot because we are in the middle of this health care debate, but it is critically important that we get this right. Everyone has said, virtually everyone, that bending the cost curve over time is critically important and one of the key goals of this entire effort. From what you have seen from the products of the committees that have reported, do you see a successful effort being mounted to bend the long-term cost curve?

Elmendorf: No, Mr. Chairman. In the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount. And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs…

As we wrote in our letter to you and Senator Gregg, the creation of a new subsidy for health insurance, which is a critical part of expanding health insurance coverage in our judgement, would by itself increase the federal responsibility for health care that raises federal spending on health care. It raises the amount of activity that is growing at this unsustainable rate and to offset that there has to be very substantial reductions in other parts of the federal commitment to health care, either on the tax revenue side through changes in the tax exclusion or on the spending side through reforms in Medicare and Medicaid. Certainly reforms of that sort are included in some of the packages, and we are still analyzing the reforms in the House package. Legislation was only released as you know two days ago. But changes we have looked at so far do not represent the fundamental change on the order of magnitude that would be necessary to offset the direct increase in federal health costs from the insurance coverage proposals.

It’s a month to the day since the first time Elmendorf kneecapped Hopenchange by announcing that not only would an early iteration of ObamaCare cost a trillion dollars over the next decade, it would still leave millions uninsured. The money question now: Will this further embolden the Blue Dogs to torpedo the House bill? They’ve got tons of media momentum behind them, believe it or not. Drudge is leading with the New York Post’s story about a 57% combined income tax rate in New York City on top earners once the ObamaCare surtax passes while ABC flags a study showing that combined top tax rates in fully 39 states will soar to over 50% as well. The public’s not buying The One’s crap about how the rich are going to pay for this either: According to Rasmussen, 78% expect the tax burden for ObamaCare to trickle down to the middle class. And in McClatchy’s new poll, the split between those who think expanding coverage is top priority and those who think top priority is controlling costs is now just two points, within the margin of error — even as the number who say the country’s on the right track has dropped 12 points since June, confirming the Hotline poll from yesterday. Like Karl says, the mask is off and The One’s political capital is at ebb tide. If fiscal conservatives can’t stop ObamaCare now — or at least vastly improve it — then we never will.

Update: Even supersquishy Olympia Snowe’s getting cold feet:

But beyond policy, Snowe and other moderates are bristling at the time table set by President Obama – he wants bills passed through the House and Senate before the bodies leave for their August recess on August 7.

She told reporters last night that’s probably not enough time. And she pointed to the creation of Medicare in the 1960s, which she said took a lot longer than the time table set out by Democrats this year.

Update: A must-read post from Kaus. If you’d told me in advance that ObamaCare would run into problems, the very last reason I’d anticipate would be poor salesmanship by Obama. And yet:

He lectures: It’s also time, Obama tells his viewers, to lose weight, and stop smoking, and pull up your socks. Later on he tells people that they are foolish to prefer brand name drugs to generic drugs, and to want multiple medical tests. “If you only need one test, why do you want five tests?” Stop clinging to your tests! You’re worse than those people in Pennsylvania.

Who knew we were electing a national mother-in-law? And get a chance to endure increased taxes for the privilege. Obama’s supposed to be rallying support from voters, not castigating them. Outside the S& M parlor, most people do not enjoy paying to be disciplined.

Update: Uh oh.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus(D-Mont.) said Thursday that he hopes to have a bipartisan deal on a health care reform bill by the end of the day.

He made the remarks after huddling for about two hours with five Finance Committee members most closely involved in the negotiations. It was the first time Baucus acknowledged a time frame for reaching an agreement.

“We are meeting very aggressively today,” Baucus said of the bipartisan group, which plans to meet again at 1:30 p.m. “We will keep meeting all day long. I hope we can reach some kind of agreement by the end of the day, but having said that, it depends on what kind it is.”

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Call Olympia Snowe’s office, say you are from Maine ( get some random zip code off the internet) and swamp her office. She will cave.

Absolutely call her office. I am from Maine and call her offices (all of them) several times daily from different phones. She WILL vote for this garbage! It’s on her homepage… she’s drippy for obama and his obama”care”.

Everyone on this blog call (202) 224-5344. Say you are from Portland and give the zip 04101.

Call Collins too. She’s spineless and will vote for this. Her number: (202) 224-2523.

ErinF on July 17, 2009 at 12:21 AM

Here you go. Snowejob on full display.

Can’t wait for her to show her ugly mug up here.

ErinF on July 17, 2009 at 12:27 AM

If health Care Obama style and Cap and Trade are passed then that will finish America.

Ed Laskie on July 17, 2009 at 12:55 AM

If health Care Obama style and Cap and Trade are passed then that will finish America.

Add one more thing… AMNESTY!

All three together will absolutely finish America.

Thanks, obama voters!

ErinF on July 17, 2009 at 1:18 AM

I know this is off topic, but Drudge reports “Huge blob of Arctic goo floats past Alaska’s coast…”

I guess Al Gore decided to go for a swim.

ErinF on July 17, 2009 at 1:22 AM

Terrey, I assure you. They do dump people. They were blocked by Congress.

And then, they did it again.

I can only imagine that it has reached a point where it is is cheaper to take the hit from the Federal level than not dump the paitents.

They are still dumping patients. We’re talking about people who need to be in lifelong care. That is all that is left.

And today’s system apparently rewards dumping them on the sidewaks in front of the mission.

I don’t get the specifics.

But, I do know……that’s realty.

AnninCA on July 16, 2009 at 6:27 PM

I believe it, but it will be worse under socialism and the people dying will be productive relatively young members of society. What do you think happens when you tell a 55 year old guy with a wife and kids that he can’t have kidney dialysis because he’s past the age cut off? He dies and his wife and kids are screwed to the wall. Welcome to the brave new world of nationalized health care.

eyedoc on July 17, 2009 at 7:01 AM

If health Care Obama style and Cap and Trade are passed then that will finish America.

Add one more thing… AMNESTY!

All three together will absolutely finish America.

Thanks, obama voters!

ErinF on July 17, 2009 at 1:18 AM

Don’t absolve Bush voters. We Bush supporters bear some responsibility too. We supported the guy while he sold us out in several ways. I’m guilty as charged but as least I’ve grown wise to the game. You need to include Rush, Hannity, Ingraham, and others for being responsible for this debacle as well. They were sycophants for the GOP while the GOP set the foundation for the coming of Obama. We never held these guys accountable until it was too late.

True_King on July 17, 2009 at 8:42 AM

The Nanny State Octopus grows news tentacles to strangle our nation with every fresh Obama proclamation.

Those who voted for this crypto-Marxist are its suckers.

profitsbeard on July 17, 2009 at 9:30 AM

LOL! Bipartisan. They’re both part of the same party. DNCGOP.

joshlbetts on July 17, 2009 at 10:14 AM

“Stop clinging to your tests! You’re worse than those people in Pennsylvania.”

Huh? The One has lost it.

FireBlogger on July 17, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Contact info for Finance Committee Members:


(202) 224-2651
Missoula, MT 59802

(202) 224-6472
Charleston, WV 25301

(202) 224-2043
Minot, ND 58701

(202) 224-5521
Albuquerque, NM 87101

(202) 224-2742
Springfield, MA 01101

(202) 224-4843
Little Rock, AR 72201

(202) 224-5244
Eugene, OR 97401

(202) 224-6542
Buffalo, NY 14202

(202) 224-4822
Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Seattle, WA 98174

Orlando, Florida 32801

Newark, NJ 07102

(202) 224-2441
Dover, DE 19904


(202) 224-3744
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

(202) 224-5251
Salt Lake City, UT 84138

(202) 224-5344
Portland, ME 04101

(202) 224-4521
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Lexington, KY 40503

(202) 224-6142
Boise, ID 83702

(202) 224-4774
Overland Park, KS 66210

(202) 224-6244
Las Vegas, NV 89101

(202) 224-3424
Cheyenne, WY 82001

Houston, TX 77007

Sorry if this is tough to read! Let your voice be heard!

mizzoujgrad on July 17, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Did he really say tht Pennsylvania quote about clinging to tests? He’s losing it! If the Rasmussan Poll is accurate and he has only 35% support of the American population who want this boondoggle of a Healthcare plan, how can ANY Representative or Senator vote for it and go home and face their consituents?

tnmama on July 17, 2009 at 2:47 PM


Dems Sent ‘Back to Drawing Board’ on Health Care; Surtax on Wealthy is Good Politics
July 17, 2009 2:23 PM

Socialist heads are going to explode….

elduende on July 17, 2009 at 3:44 PM

This is exactly why we need socialized healthcare.

greggish on July 17, 2009 at 4:45 PM

Fix the economy first! Where are the jobs? Then fix Medicare! Why do we need Socialist medicine if the Democrats won’t even pledge to use thier own plan????

Stop the socialism! This is not a socialist country!

elduende on July 17, 2009 at 5:01 PM

I think I just found a gem in the transcript of Snyderman interview:

“What we can do is we can encourage those companies that have those sorts of wellness-prevention programs.”

See? He wants people to get sicker! =P

VekTor on July 17, 2009 at 6:12 PM

You mean like the ‘bipartisan’ support in the House for Crap and Tax?
You mean like the ‘bipartisan’ working on the swindle-us lie?
The only bipartisan I can see anywhere near D.C. is the ruination of our country.
And another thing, is there anybody out there that actually believes that Spectre, Colon, and Snowjob are going to vote any different that they’ve voted for the last 2 terms?
What we really need to happen is a vote for censure, or outright removal of the petrified waste formally known as the speaker of the house. With that bile-o-sea gone, someone could find out what it would take to get impeachment articles sent.
Can you say usurpations?
I thought you could.

Blacksmith8 on July 17, 2009 at 9:39 PM