CBO does it again: Key ObamaCare cost-cutting proposal probably won’t save money

posted at 4:43 pm on July 25, 2009 by Allahpundit

I feel like … dancing down the aisle at a wedding or something.

A key House chairman and moderate House Democrats on Tuesday agreed to a White House-backed proposal that would give an outside panel the power to make cuts to government-financed health care programs. White House budget director Peter Orszag declared the plan “probably the most important piece that can be added” to the House’s health care reform legislation.

But on Saturday, the Congressional Budget Office said the proposal to give an independent panel the power to keep Medicare spending in check would only save about $2 billion over 10 years- a drop in the bucket compared to the bill’s $1 trillion price tag.

“In CBO’s judgment, the probability is high that no savings would be realized … but there is also a chance that substantial savings might be realized. Looking beyond the 10-year budget window, CBO expects that this proposal would generate larger but still modest savings on the same probabilistic basis,” CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf wrote in a letter to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Saturday.

The sweetest part of this? Obama tried to strong-arm the CBO the last time they sent up a red flag about what an awful boondoggle his pet program will turn out to be. Here’s what he gets for trying things “the Chicago way.” Meanwhile, Ace has a thoughtful post about the scam of setting up an independent body to cut health-care costs when that body (b) isn’t really independent and (b) therefore won’t really cut costs. I’ll borrow our exit question from him: Is our monstrous new federal bureaucracy aiming to be merely deficit-neutral or to actually reduce deficits over the long haul by *giggle* lowering overall health-care spending (Medicare included)? Let me be clear: The One hasn’t been clear.


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I am tired of the left being envious of anyone who makes something of themselves and is able to accumulate a little wealth. I thought that was part of the American dream.

They don’t share the same dream of most Americans. Their dream is a Marxist utopia.

eyedoc on July 25, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Oh no sir, I do not have any income. Or, oh no IRS, I do not have any employees. The good old American way bless all our hearts!

jeanie on July 25, 2009 at 6:10 PM

It’s already happening. I am getting some really nice upgrades to my residence and am paying in cash and through bartering. We’re going to starve the beast that is the Obama Regime.

Key West Reader on July 25, 2009 at 6:17 PM

I just found out what Obama means in Kenyan. Can anyone guess?

Cheshire Cat on July 25, 2009 at 6:19 PM

I just found out what Obama means in Kenyan. Can anyone guess?

Cheshire Cat on July 25, 2009 at 6:19 PM

Stalin?

mankai on July 25, 2009 at 6:21 PM

I think Obama going from triumph to defeat on health care is best exemplified by this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG9tpBiqhQw

JDwinston on July 25, 2009 at 6:21 PM

Obama is meeting with Donald Trump Monday morning about firing Elmendorf. Obama is still having problems over his firing of the Americorps IG Walpin, so he wants to try to get it right this time.

Obama: “Now, dude, how does that line go, again?”
Trump: “You’re fired. But keep in mind, Mr. President, most people in our country don’t fire employees who are actually doing their jobs well. They fire only those who are performing poorly.”

So far, Obama’s class warfare (tax the rich), anti-GOP (the Party of No), and sob story (Obama campaign workers without insurance) approaches don’t seem to be taking hold. Is it just a matter of time before Obama pulls the race care and accuses anyone opposed to his vision of healthcare as opposing a scheme that will eliminate the insidious racism that he sees in our current healthcare system?

BuckeyeSam on July 25, 2009 at 6:22 PM

Stalin?

mankai on July 25, 2009 at 6:21 PM

No, but good try. It means Jimmy Carter.

Cheshire Cat on July 25, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Key West Reader on July 25, 2009 at 6:17 PM

And a nice bonus–since one has no money one becomes eligible for Medicaid and henceforward pays nothing. I used to think that Medicaid was awful, but since under Obama the entire scheme will be awful that bias will be moot. That won’t work for big corps.—but we are a resourceful people and they will find a way. Screw the government whenever possible is a basic American right which even Obama can’t remove.

jeanie on July 25, 2009 at 6:25 PM

Bumpty Odumpty spoke as a racist in a unguarded judgment call
Bumpty Odumpty had a great fall
All the tyrants Axelrods and all the tyrants Rahm con men
Can’t put Bumpty Odumpty’s mask back on again

Cheshire Cat on July 25, 2009 at 6:27 PM

Of course it won’t work for investment income either under the present system but munis and other tax frees will probably just blossom. There is always a way and it WILL be found sooner or later. It’s pretty much a given that when it comes to money the People are always several steps in front of the Gov.

jeanie on July 25, 2009 at 6:29 PM

Barack Obama: Listen to me, everybody! I’m your new leader! I’m gonna save your lives! I’m gonna tell you what to do!
Allahpundit: Don’t listen to that power hungry mad man. The sky isn’t falling.
Barack Obama: I tell ya it is too falling!
Allahpundit: And I tell you it isn’t.
Barack Obama: Is too!
Allahpundit: All right, if the sky is falling why doesn’t it hit me in the head?
[Rahm Emanuel hits Allahpundit with a piece of wood]
Sheeple: Barack Obama is right! What do we do? Oh, Barack Obama, you’ve got to help us!

Cheshire Cat on July 25, 2009 at 6:30 PM

Let us keep up the fight to stop his policies with phone calls and other means. We see that it is starting to break the lines of the demoRATic party. exposes their high tax-govt run programs that are clearly bankrupting our wallets.
The Rino did not help with this fiasco as well……
So now we all have to pay the price and some are without help. I will do my best to help out our neighbors. together we will restore what is properly OURS!.Our Life. and your going home.

hawkman on July 25, 2009 at 6:30 PM

Let me be clear: The One hasn’t been clear.

Fine speeches may disguise, but silly actions will eventually disclose a fool.

Cheshire Cat on July 25, 2009 at 6:40 PM

I will do my best to help out our neighbors. together we will restore
hawkman on July 25, 2009 at 6:30 PM

You’re right. There is a new tent city going up in town and the folks that are there are families. Men, women and children living in tents. Unbelievable. I plan to help these families anonymously by inviting folks over for dinner and asking them to bring as many non perishable food items and as many personal hygeine products and school supplies that they can afford.

Obviously, whatever Obama is doing to help them isn’t enough, because these families are LIVING IN TENT CITIES.

I want my country back.

Key West Reader on July 25, 2009 at 6:45 PM

An Ass masquerading as a President found a Doctor’s white lab coat which had been left out in the sun to dry. He put it on and spoke to his countrymen. All bowed, both men and women, and he was a proud Ass that day. In his delight he lifted up his voice and brayed incoherently and then every one knew him for what he really was.

Cheshire Cat on July 25, 2009 at 6:50 PM

The drug industry, the American Medical Association, hospital groups and the insurance lobby are all saying Congress must make major changes this year. Television ads paid for by drug companies and insurers continued to emphasize the benefits of a health care overhaul — not the groups’ objections to some of the proposals.

keep the change on July 25, 2009 at 5:11 PM

YEAH! And the REASON they are “for it” is that the thugs in the White House told them they would lose their seat at the bargaining table if they come out against it, running Harry & Louise style ads, for instance. There is a great quote from Newt in the piece about “lunch.”

ExpressoBold on July 25, 2009 at 7:04 PM

An Ass masquerading as a President found a Doctor’s white lab coat which had been left out in the sun to dry. He put it on and spoke to his countrymen. All bowed, both men and women, and he was a proud Ass that day. In his delight he lifted up his voice and brayed incoherently and then every one knew him for what he really was.

Cheshire Cat on July 25, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Post of the Day!!!

Key West Reader on July 25, 2009 at 7:15 PM

Well, Obmama can’t seem to dazzle us with brains so he’ll baffle us with bull$hit.

boomer on July 25, 2009 at 7:24 PM

I would just like to add that the blonde girl from Sweden is (was) extremely hot :)

Flyboy on July 25, 2009 at 7:40 PM

“I’m not a doctor or an executive… actually I’ve never held a real job or had any real managerial responsibilities… I certainly was never in a position to have to deal with finances… but I play all of them pretty damn well on TV!”

mankai on July 25, 2009 at 7:44 PM

Thanks for the music vid AP, Man! I had the serious hots for that blond about 30 years ago!

conservnut on July 25, 2009 at 8:02 PM

I would just like to add that the blonde girl from Sweden is (was) extremely hot :)

Flyboy on July 25, 2009 at 7:40 PM

I seem to remember that she was voted the greatest ass in the music industry. I had to agree.

conservnut on July 25, 2009 at 8:04 PM

Oh no sir, I do not have any income. Or, oh no IRS, I do not have any employees. The good old American way bless all our hearts!

jeanie on July 25, 2009 at 6:10 PM

It’s already happening. I am getting some really nice upgrades to my residence and am paying in cash and through bartering. We’re going to starve the beast that is the Obama Regime.

Key West Reader on July 25, 2009 at 6:17 PM

lol the black markets are about the only thing that ever thrive under communism :]

bluelightbrigade on July 25, 2009 at 8:15 PM

I foresee Obama Wellness Transition Centers in which those over 65 are mandated to go to for transition counseling, and from which they never return, like the man in the Kingston Trio song.

Dhuka on July 25, 2009 at 8:43 PM

keep the change:

Sounds to me like a bunch of special interests/lobbyists trying to get the best deal they can. I heard that Obama came up with a plan to funnel an additional $245 billion into Medicare payments to doctors to get their support. That and the fact that they are bullying people.

Point is if any of these people think we need to change or reform the system…they can make some changes themselves. They are after all part of the system.

Terrye on July 25, 2009 at 8:47 PM

“The President said that rising health care costs are an imminent threat to our economy and that any reform must reduce these long-term costs. But CBO has made clear once again that the Democrats’ bills in Congress aren’t reducing costs and in fact could just make the problem worse,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Hello? The President says we have to pass ObamaCare fast to save the economy! Does ANYONE believe that??? I thought it was a joke until I heard/saw the TOTUS say it. Man how “acting stupidly” does he think we are???

Christian Conservative on July 25, 2009 at 9:03 PM

Here in California we have a program called Major Risk Medical Insurance Program. MRMIP offers three common health insurance choices — 1 PPO and 2 different HMO models, depending on regional availability — to state residents who otherwise would be denied coverage due to a preexisting condition. Enrollment is not mandatory for the hard-to-insure and the state government is not a party to any private medical information. As a health insurance broker, the state does not bear any of the costs — the purchaser does — but negotiates the best rates for premiums based on the size of the patient group it represents.

I think facilitating health insurance is the most constructive reform the government can implement for all of the uninsured, not just the hard-to-insure. Like MRMIP, government-brokered options would supplement the free market instead of supplanting it. Of necessity, the options would have to be offered at the local level and states could determine whether they want to make health insurance mandatory as they do with auto insurance.

Terrie on July 25, 2009 at 9:06 PM

It cannot be possible to use medicare cost reductions to cover the uninsured when medicare itself is scheduled to go broke in eight years; unless, you cut care. Who will cut the care? Why our “independent” politically appointed board that will tell the Doctor what decisions he can make. Yes, the Doctor will decide, but within parameters set for him by this board. Also, under the first proposed bill, the Doctor could not tell the patient that the independent board denied him the care.

Well, is it any surprise that many older people are suspicious? Why would you forbid doctors to tell patients who limited their care? First, the elderly will be suspicious that they will be judged uneligible for many procedures. Second, others will suspect that politically incorrect groups may not get procedures because they are politically inexpedient (ie, white, male, Republican). There is no current evidence for this, but the suspicion will be there because of the way this proposed system is set up and who controls it. Such suspicions will I expect be enough to tip the already financially precarious proposal over the cliff to oblivion.

A revised reform plan may pass, but moderates and conservatives will have to be given more voice in shaping it if it is to pass.

KW64 on July 25, 2009 at 11:11 PM

heh…

I’m afraid to ask, but just how many Waterloo videos does AP have access to?

Give me the 20 trillion deficit….. /s

Hog Wild on July 26, 2009 at 12:42 AM

Obama’s health plan is short-bus economics.

If you think we have an illegal immigration problem now, wait until free medical care is provided. Within a couple of years we’ll have twice as many illegals, gigantic deficits, and a few states facing bankruptcy.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on July 26, 2009 at 1:15 AM

They don’t share the same dream of most Americans. Their dream is a Marxist utopia.

eyedoc on July 25, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Marxism is based on envy and economic class warfare.

atheling on July 26, 2009 at 2:09 AM

Marxism is based on envy and economic class warfare.

atheling on July 26, 2009 at 2:09 AM

And a static, stagnant view of the world. Marxists don’t understand growth and development, which is why they always think that it can be centrally controlled.

progressoverpeace on July 26, 2009 at 2:32 AM

I don’t know why the media (i.e. Fox news) isn’t holding Obama accountable for this. When the GAO issued their recommendations on Iraq every outlet beat the subject to death.Do they realize how imperative it is if the CBO is issuing warnings on universal health care?Or our they hedging their bets by not being to critical of Obama?

Cr4sh Dummy on July 26, 2009 at 4:02 AM

The conservative Heritage Foundation describes the initiative as being “the equivalent of a federal health board determining how health care was rationed for all seniors.”

So….if healthcare is going to be ‘rationed’ for the elderly (or anyone) – then that is depriving them of needed medical treatments.

Um….isn’t that also known as TORTURE?

Mr Purple on July 26, 2009 at 6:09 AM

Also, under the first proposed bill, the Doctor could not tell the patient that the independent board denied him the care.

That may be what the legislation says, but believe me the patient will know why his care was denied. They’ll be told or they’ll figure it out for themselves. What I’m worried about, and this happens already in the Medicare system, are things retroactively not being paid for. As in, you operate on a patient,and afterward, Medicare denies the claim and doesn’t pay you. That would be a very sneaky way for this Medicare board to cut costs without denying care to the patient.

eyedoc on July 26, 2009 at 7:52 AM

As a result of this health care reform debate I’m really rethinkig some of my past positions:

1. ABBA had good melodies.
2.They came across as very nice, but they needed coaching for their stage performance. The girls can’t really dance or lipsynch and the men’s costumes were cheesy.

Ted Torgerson on July 26, 2009 at 8:14 AM

That’s one bad-ass axe though in Waterloo!

/sarcasm

Mr Purple on July 26, 2009 at 8:23 AM

When this country gets serious about saving money they will send this goatherder back home.

bluegrass on July 26, 2009 at 11:12 AM

woohoo!! Elmensdorf is our Blucher baby!

ginaswo on July 26, 2009 at 11:47 AM

mr purple, yeah we will all be trying to get INTO gitmo to get better medical care….and cable!

ginaswo on July 26, 2009 at 11:48 AM

As a health insurance broker, the state does not bear any of the costs — the purchaser does — but negotiates the best rates for premiums based on the size of the patient group it represents.

Terrie on July 25, 2009 at 9:06 PM

Terrie, that simply isn’t true. Read your own link. MRMIP subsidizes the difference between what is collected from the client and the going rate.

highhopes on July 26, 2009 at 1:44 PM

If you want to see the future of ObamaCare, look to the past. I highly recommend a comedy series from the BBC in the early 80′s called “Yes, Minister” (followed by the series “Yes, Prime Minister”) that dealt with the insanity of bureacratic government. The following episode dealt with a government-run hospital that had 500 administrative staff, but no doctors and no patients. You can watch it at:

The Compassionate Society

Part 1

Part 2:

Part 3

Enjoy and fear for the future.

PackerBronco on July 26, 2009 at 2:26 PM

I just got a creepy thought.. Suppose the “Die with Dignity” clause of the plan is used to get rid of dissidents

Ezikiel Emmanuel, Rham dead fish’s brother, has advocated withholding basic medical services from people who have mental problems.

So, the obamahealthcareworkers come into your house and see you are a conservative.. Wonder if you will still get your insulin and the radiation treatments for your wife.

Don’t think it won’t happen folks.

Remember, Obama’s buddy william ayer’s group calmly discussed the option of murdering 25 million americans to get their way. .. Many of the older people are less likely to blindly follow jugears. …

bullseye on July 27, 2009 at 9:50 AM

lol the black markets are about the only thing that ever thrive under communism :]

bluelightbrigade on July 25, 2009 at 8:15 PM

RACIST!

VekTor on July 27, 2009 at 11:14 AM

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