CBO strikes back

posted at 12:14 pm on July 27, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The CBO released a new analysis of the House version of ObamaCare yesterday, after getting blasted by White House budget director Peter Orszag for “exaggerating” the costs associated with the proposal.  Douglas Elmendorf tells Rep. Dave Camp (R), the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, that the changes proposed by the White House will have little impact on their cost analysis, and that in fact the news gets worse in the second decade after the first runs up a $239 billion deficit:

The net cost of the coverage provisions would be growing at a rate of more than 8 percent per year in nominal terms between 2017 and 2019; we would anticipate a similar trend in the subsequent decade. The reductions in direct spending would also be larger in the second decade than in the first, and they would represent an increasing share of spending on Medicare over that period; however, they would be much smaller at the end of the 10-year budget window than the cost of the coverage provisions, so they would not be likely to keep pace in dollar terms with the rising cost of the coverage expansion. Revenue from the surcharge on high-income individuals would be growing at about 5 percent per year in nominal terms between 2017 and 2019; that component would continue to grow at a slower rate than the cost of the coverage expansion in the following decade. In sum, relative to current law, the proposal would probably generate substantial increases in federal budget deficits during the decade beyond the current 10-year-budget window.

In other words, that $239 billion in Decade 1 was actually the good news.  Why will it get worse?

As long as overall spending for health care continued to expand as a share of the economy, people’s share of insurance costs would continue to rise faster than their income, or the government’s subsidy costs would continue to rise faster than the tax base, or both. The proposal limits the share of income that eligible people would have to pay when they purchased coverage in the insurance exchanges, and that share of income would not change over time. In addition, insurance plans offered through the exchanges would be required to pay a specified share of costs for covered services (on average), and that share also would not change over time. Combining those provisions, increases in health care spending in excess of the rate of growth in income would be borne entirely by the federal government in the form of higher subsidy payments—because those payments would have to cover the entire difference between the total premium for insurance coverage and the capped amount that enrollees would pay.

It’s not exactly rocket-science mathematics on display here.  If costs go up but premiums and health-insurance payments are capped, guess who pays for the rising costs?  The federal government.  The Obama administration will claim that they’ve capped costs and people will see their direct payments to health insurers and providers remain fixed, but the government will have to enact massive tax hikes to pay the back-end costs — which will come out of everyone’s pockets.  Either that, or the government will have to sharply ration care — which the Obama administration denies will happen.

Obviously, the White House attempt at public intimidation didn’t cause Elmendorf to flinch.  Instead, his report will give ObamaCare opponents in the House, Democrats included, ammunition to demand a return to the drawing board.


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Comment pages: 1 2

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Well I for one do not want it. I am happily uninsured and will resist all attempts to force me into their “control freak” public option. They will have to incarcerate me first!

Archimedes on July 27, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Mistake.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:03 PM

You were on such a roll this morning before healthcare came up.

TXMomof3 on July 27, 2009 at 1:04 PM

I figger’d it….AnninCA is a genius satirist.

Surely nobody could be that ceaselessly vacuous and continue to exist in a world full of pointy objects?

LimeyGeek on July 27, 2009 at 1:05 PM

However, I do want public option the rest of the public to pay for my health care.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 12:34 PM

FIFY

PackerBronco on July 27, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Lord help us all. Part of the reason why the military has been streched so thin in Iraq and Afghanistan is because Clinton declared a peace dividend.

highhopes on July 27, 2009 at 12:55 PM

While this is true, the downsizing of Reagan’s build up was 1st instigated by Bush(41)

Archimedes on July 27, 2009 at 1:06 PM

I think the populist movement should embrace public option. Really.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Why would there be a populist movement to surrender liberty?

BPD on July 27, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Obama’s best message was how this supports small business.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Yeah. He’s lying. What’s difficult to understand?

If you listen to Obama, this plan will do everything: save money, insure everyone, make everyone healthy, reduce the debt.

Reality gets in the way. Of Obama, and you apparently.

lorien1973 on July 27, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Surely nobody could be that ceaselessly vacuous and continue to exist in a world full of pointy objects?

LimeyGeek on July 27, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Blowfish have managed to survive.

Wait….is that an allegory?

BobMbx on July 27, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Hey, we disagree on this.

Live and let live.

I am close to seeing a lifetime dream here. It may be imperfect, for sure, but I do want to see this.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:09 PM

…a return to the drawing board.

I have an idea, why don’t we not return to the drawing board, why don’t we just leave things the H*ll alone and let the free market fix itself. Congress could focus like a laser on Medicare if they need something to do with their time.

johnsteele on July 27, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Monetary reality has a habit of kicking dreams in the balls. How’s that feel, Barry?

GarandFan on July 27, 2009 at 1:09 PM

I completely disagree with the GOP on this issue. No if’s and’s or but’s.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:10 PM

I think the populist movement should embrace public option. Really.

Obama’s best message was how this supports small business. He stole that. The no message from the GOP has confirmed for many that they are not about small business.

Mistake.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Ann, that makes absolutely no sense. Did you really intend to post that?

a capella on July 27, 2009 at 1:10 PM

If they don’t READ the Bill, why would they care what MATH was written down regarding funding it

Jeff from WI on July 27, 2009 at 1:11 PM

However, I do want public option.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Please explain how a normal Health insurance company will be able to compete with the Government system?

The Gov system will not have to pay taxes. It will no have to make a profit… thats about a 25% competive advantage just in those two little things.

Except for a few Gold Plated expensive private health insurance plans (for the rich, and Congress, and Unions), the rest will be driven out of business. They literaly cannot compete with the gov run one having that large of a business advantage.

Romeo13 on July 27, 2009 at 1:12 PM

So….Ann….let me get this straight…..even in your dreams, this is an imperfect solution?

If you can’t even dream of it being successful, doesn’t your continued burbling constitute evidence that you are, clinically, a moron?

(Just for you, here’s the answer – YES IT DOES)

LimeyGeek on July 27, 2009 at 1:12 PM

I completely disagree with the GOP on this issue. No if’s and’s or but’s.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:10 PM

So with super-majorities in both houses, why hasn’t this bill been signed into law?

Do you disagree with the Democrats also? That is the logical conclusion of your statement.

BobMbx on July 27, 2009 at 1:13 PM

I completely disagree with the GOP on this issue. No if’s and’s or but’s.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:10 PM

I think you’d manage to disagree with the flavor of air

LimeyGeek on July 27, 2009 at 1:14 PM

Obama’s best message was how this supports small business.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Nothing Obama does helps small business. The number 1 reason I dislike this President and this congress is because they are enemies of small business, and I’m a small businessman. Wait until we see Rangel re-introduce his tax “reform” bill.

forest on July 27, 2009 at 1:14 PM

So….Ann….let me get this straight…..even in your dreams, this is an imperfect solution?

If you can’t even dream of it being successful, doesn’t your continued burbling constitute evidence that you are, clinically, a moron?

(Just for you, here’s the answer – YES IT DOES)

LimeyGeek on July 27, 2009 at 1:12 PM

Limey powers over the net with an overhead smash…Can Ann make the return?

BobMbx on July 27, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Congratulations on the awesome display of political swordsmanship, O Jug-eared One!

hillbillyjim on July 27, 2009 at 1:16 PM

They literaly cannot compete with the gov run one having that large of a business advantage.

Romeo13 on July 27, 2009 at 1:12 PM

Indeed. It is economic idiocy to suggest that an entity that does not have to compete (because it can just take money) will be good for competition.

Gubmint healthcare is the antithesis of a competitive marketplace.

LimeyGeek on July 27, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Liars and frauds on one side.
Idiots and cowards on the other.

guntotinglibertarian on July 27, 2009

I agree. I used to accept that one must vote (D) or (R) or they were pissing away their vote. I think that dynamic has changed. My disgust with the direction of the Republican Party over the past decade cannot be unique to me. I have always considered myself to be “the” average American. But I will no longer vote for the (R) automatically. That vote must be earned by virtue of adherence to the constitution and belief in (very) limited government. If only a third party candidate offers that to me, so be it. The current two-party system is broken by virtue of those two parties travelling on different tracks toward the same progressive destination: Big government control of American’s lives.

SKYFOX on July 27, 2009 at 1:16 PM

The Obama administration will claim that they’ve capped costs and people will see their direct payments to health insurers and providers remain fixed, but the government will have to enact massive tax hikes to pay the back-end costs — which will come out of everyone’s pockets. Either that, or the government will have to sharply ration care — which the Obama administration denies will happen.

This gets straight to the heart of the matter. I would have a modicum of respect for the Bambi administration if they would just admit this, but they have no integrity so they won’t.

AnninCa, if you’re still reading this thread you could at least admit that the “public option” is going is going to cost everyone who now has insurance something. You don’t want to admit it, but it will.

BTW, how much does Organizing for America and/or ACORN pay these days? (I realize there must be some sort of termination clause if you admit you’re payed for your blather, but I thought I’d ask anyway).

I think Obama has blown this big-time. He basically let the idiots in Congress turn this into some kind of odd circus.

I thought Bambi was the greatest politician in the history of politicians. The greatest leader in the history of leaders. This way anything that sucks about the plan he can blame on 1) Republicans because they won’t participate in this crap sandwich and 2) his fellow Democrats because they can’t get along. I can just hear his speech now, “I tried, but let me remind you what the role of the President is in our government. I can only sign what Congress sends me, blah, blah, blah”. He’s definitely the greatest buck passer in the history of the presidency.

rockhead on July 27, 2009 at 1:17 PM

While this is true, the downsizing of Reagan’s build up was 1st instigated by Bush(41)

Archimedes on July 27, 2009 at 1:06 PM

In point of fact, the downsizing of Reagan’s build up started during the latter years of Reagan’s administration. Reagan inherited a military suffering from neglect after the Carter administration and made re-building the military a priority.

The downsizing escalated during the Bush(41) regime but it was only after Clinton got into office that the looting began. The rationale was that, with the cold war over, we could restructure the military since we would never be fighting the type of war where we needed lots of ground troops (see where I’m going with this?). For example why did we need active duty forces involved with civil affairs since the US would never be trying to create a military government in an occupied area. Almost eight years after the 9/11/01 atrocities our troops are still suffering from the security decisions Clinton made in order to fund his “million teacher” program and all the other social engineering done at a cost to defense.

highhopes on July 27, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Only losers need government

LimeyGeek on July 27, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Obama’s best message was how this supports small business.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Smoking crack, is it a habit or do you only do it while blogging, ann?

HornetSting on July 27, 2009 at 1:18 PM

On Drudge at the top there is a link to a story about an anti-Obama protest in Isreal. Wow, I thought the world was going to love us again? Now our buddies are protesting,oops!

TXMomof3 on July 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

He’s definitely the greatest buck passer in the history of the presidency.

rockhead on July 27, 2009 at 1:17 PM

He’s the bastard pinnacle of affirmative action

LimeyGeek on July 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

I have an idea, why don’t we not return to the drawing board, why don’t we just leave things the H*ll alone and let the free market fix itself. Congress could focus like a laser on Medicare if they need something to do with their time.

johnsteele on July 27, 2009 at 1:09 PM

I completely agree. Let both “Universal Health Care” and “Cap and Trade” die a natural death and put congress in recess until the next election.

duff65 on July 27, 2009 at 1:20 PM

Meric1837 on July 27, 2009 at 12:18 PM

GOOD LUCK TO YOU!!

D2Boston on July 27, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Hey, we disagree on this.

Live and let live.

I am close to seeing a lifetime dream here. It may be imperfect, for sure, but I do want to see this.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:09 PM

The problem Ann is that thee implementation of this plan will not allow live & let live. Let me draw you a thumbnail sketch.

Admin. declares as they are responsible for the costs of military personaels health costs, they are justified in banning smoking in the US armed forces.

are these not the self same responsibilities of cost they now mean to expand to cover the entire population. As they are going to be the finacially responsible party, they will justfy ditating what you consume as well.

Like to stop at the pub for a beer after work, sorry no can do. under the current weight guidelines are you, like Marilyn Monroe, considered FAT. No Brats, no beer, no ice cream…..on and on. And yes HHS Secy Sebelious said she wnts to regulate ice cream!

When will libbies learn to actually “live & let live”? Consume what you wish whether it be healthcare or ice cream, pay the resultant price, and let others do the same!

Archimedes on July 27, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Please don’t feed the troll.

And repeat after me — if the public option is “non-negotiable,” it is automatically Too Big To Fail.

DrSteve on July 27, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Ann, that makes absolutely no sense. Did you really intend to post that?

a capella on July 27, 2009 at 1:10 PM

Ann tries to effectuate an air of reasonableness and all that but if she types too fast she gets Axelrod’s text msg mixed up…

CCRWM on July 27, 2009 at 1:25 PM

However, I do want public option.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Why just one public plan? Hillarycare actually split the nation up into regions each with its own public plan (I forget the precise term they used but it was something like purchasing units). If you are in favor of a public plan (and you know my opinion about that) it makes more sense to have multiple public plans to deal with the differences in healthcare around the country. The kind of public plan that would work best in Southern California would not work in Wyoming where the population is so sparsely distributed. Since the demographics are not uniform, heredity-based illness is also going to be different if the population has a more or fewer of a certain race in the pool. So, why just a one-size-fits-all plan?

Of course the real solution here is private insurance which is working quite well without a government panel deciding the best treatment options for individual patients.

highhopes on July 27, 2009 at 1:25 PM

On Drudge at the top there is a link to a story about an anti-Obama protest in Isreal. Wow, I thought the world was going to love us again? Now our buddies are protesting,oops!

TXMomof3 on July 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

Elections have results. I suppose Honduras will be next, followed closely by former USSR satellite countries, then the Iranian street.

a capella on July 27, 2009 at 1:26 PM

You know, sometimes some other man behaves in such a way so as to communicate “hey, mine is bigger than yours”, the best response for the is to wink, lick your lips, and blow him a kiss.

Yeah…that’s what just happened here.

bluelightbrigade on July 27, 2009 at 1:26 PM

It makes me ill to see what’s happening.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Take two lawyers and see you in two days.

“What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?”

— Democratic Congressman John Conyers

Loxodonta on July 27, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Sad to say, but the numbers won’t matter: the Dems, “blue dogs” included, are not going to allow Ogabe’s presidency to fail this early on – they will shove this monstrous bill down our throats, one way or the other.

The GOP lost on this one when they decided they could not afford to be the “party of No”. They should have de-bunked the myth of the “47 million uninsured” and stood fast on the fact that over 80% of the population is satisfied with their healthcare.

Liars and frauds on one side.

Idiots and cowards on the other.

guntotinglibertarian on July 27, 2009 at 12:29 PM

You may very well be right, but I really hope you’re wrong.

Loxodonta on July 27, 2009 at 1:30 PM

I think Obama has blown this big-time. He basically let the idiots in Congress turn this into some kind of odd circus.

I never thought he was the one to push this through. I always thought Hillary was the one.

This public option is a passion of mine. I totally support it.

It makes me ill to see what’s happening.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 12:39 PM

I am so tired of your bleeding heart. You constantly go on about the poor in this country, and what we need to do for them. Read this report on our “poor”, and here is a nice chart that summarizes the data if you don’t have the time to read the whole thing. How much do you want us to give?

DFCtomm on July 27, 2009 at 1:30 PM

I completely disagree with the GOP on this issue. No if’s and’s or but’s.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:10 PM

Facts, numbers and common sense are among your other enemies.

Chuck Schick on July 27, 2009 at 1:33 PM

I am so tired of your bleeding heart. You constantly go on about the poor in this country, and what we need to do for them. Read this report on our “poor”, and here is a nice chart that summarizes the data if you don’t have the time to read the whole thing. How much do you want us to give?

DFCtomm on July 27, 2009 at 1:30 PM

That chart was hilarious! I’m sure the rest of the world’s ‘poor’ would LOVE to be so poor as American ‘poor’. No, we need to help our own CITIZENS that fall between the cracks, small businesses and their employees that can’t get a group rate, those that have preexisting problems and the insurance is too expensive and leave the rest of these ‘uninsured’, illegal aliens, those that CHOOSE not to have insurance out of it…..and leave the rest of us that HAVE insurance alone.

HornetSting on July 27, 2009 at 1:35 PM

Live and let live.

I am close to seeing a lifetime dream here. It may be imperfect, for sure, but I do want to see this.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:09 PM

How is this live and let live. You are demanding that the government raid my pocketbook to support your dream. So I am not being allowed to live as I see fit.

Are you really that dense?

chemman on July 27, 2009 at 1:38 PM

How much do you want us to give?

DFCtomm on July 27, 2009 at 1:30 PM

If only it was about giving. It’s all about taking.

LimeyGeek on July 27, 2009 at 1:39 PM

The payroll surcharge is a floor, not a ceiling, so I fail to see how this helps small businesses.

DrSteve on July 27, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Are you really that dense?

chemman on July 27, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Somewhere, a black hole is missing its core.

LimeyGeek on July 27, 2009 at 1:39 PM

If only it was about giving. It’s all about taking.

LimeyGeek on July 27, 2009 at 1:39 PM

I stand corrected.

DFCtomm on July 27, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Obama = Frito Bandito

“Is better to give than receive…so give!”

BobMbx on July 27, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Allowing association plans to form pools across state lines would be much more helpful to small businesses, and these association plans could operate as not-for-profits (don’t panic, I work with innovative not-for-profits all the time).

DrSteve on July 27, 2009 at 1:42 PM

The meme about “we survived Carter” is not operative here.

Once enacted, this thing will be irreversible.

Those are the stakes, and I am entirely bemused that after Porkulus, Crap+Tax, race-based lending promoting the financial meltdown…that a sentient human wants the same cast of clowns to manage healthcare.

It cannot be becuase they expect government to do a good job. It must be something like “I’m now a subsistence farmer due to economic failure promoted by Bama, but that rotten insurance exec is here down with me, so all is well!”

And I thought all the suicide bombers worked for Islam.

Harry Schell on July 27, 2009 at 1:45 PM

LimeyGeek on July 27, 2009 at 1:39 PM

:)

chemman on July 27, 2009 at 1:49 PM

I think the populist movement should embrace public option. Really.

Obama’s best message was how this supports small business. He stole that. The no message from the GOP has confirmed for many that they are not about small business.

Mistake.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Only in Soviet Russia does more government involvement equal anything good for business.

The only way this helps small business is it will allow them to offload all their employees on to the public option instead instead of paying for insurance directly…which reveals the lie in Obama’s promise that people will be able to help their insurance.

Of course, after all these businesses save money by making all their employees use the ‘public plan they will see the taxes they have to pay skyrocket as the public plan doesn’t produce the super-amazing savings that government is famous for.

gwelf on July 27, 2009 at 1:52 PM

The Gov system will not have to pay taxes. It will no have to make a profit… thats about a 25% competive advantage just in those two little things.

Romeo13 on July 27, 2009 at 1:12 PM

Not only does it not have to make a profit, it can run at a loss with the cost of the deficit being picked up the taxpayers, many of whom would not be covered under the public option. So in essence the public option is subsidized by people who do not opt for it.

Man, I’d love to run a business where I get revenue from people who don’t use my product.

PackerBronco on July 27, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Why would anyone want to let the people who are responsible for Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and the V.A hospitals run their health care. You would have to be insane.

TrickyDick on July 27, 2009 at 1:54 PM

1. Move the insurance deduction from business to individuals.
2. Prohibit any federal funding of health care beyond X date. Vetrans Admin excepted

Problem solved.

I’d rather the government pay old folks diretly and let 1/2 of it get stolen than feed a bureaucracy.

Partisan on July 27, 2009 at 1:55 PM

I want a pony.

I want to sleep with Scarlett Johannsen.

Mike Honcho on July 27, 2009 at 1:58 PM

The proposal limits the share of income that eligible people would have to pay when they purchased coverage in the insurance exchanges, and that share of income would not change over time. In addition, insurance plans offered through the exchanges would be required to pay a specified share of costs for covered services (on average), and that share also would not change over time. Combining those provisions, increases in health care spending in excess of the rate of growth in income would be borne entirely by the federal government in the form of higher subsidy payments—because those payments would have to cover the entire difference between the total premium for insurance coverage and the capped amount that enrollees would pay.

Is it just me, or does this indicate that there are absolutely no way for competition to limit prices in this scheme? You pay the insurance company what the government tells you to pay them, the insurance company pays the doctors what the government tells them to pay them, and the government pays for the rest.

Doom doom doom, doom doom-doom, doom doom-doom.

Count to 10 on July 27, 2009 at 1:59 PM

I want to sleep with Scarlett Johannsen.

Mike Honcho on July 27, 2009 at 1:58 PM

Talk about a wasted opportunity for a good hard shag.

LimeyGeek on July 27, 2009 at 2:03 PM

I want the government to pick up my tab the next time I go to my favorite watering hole.

Magical thinking is fun.

Mike Honcho on July 27, 2009 at 2:08 PM

I want the government to cure my stinky garlic farts

LimeyGeek on July 27, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Here’s what is not in the CBO evaluation, or any other for that matter:

Medicare and Medicaid, which account for 1/2 of all medical dollars spent, allow charges on a schedule that lists prices of medical procedures far below market price, and sometimes below cost. Doctors who accept M & M patients have to make up the difference by overcharging everyone else. In practice, this amounts to a surtax on medical care, paid by the insurers, displacing a real but hidden cost of government-insured medical care. The insurance industry is subsidizing government-paid medical insurance, which would have gone broke long before now if it had to meet realistic criteria.

Once the entire system has become a national system, though, the insurers will not longer be able to subsidize these costs. They’ll land on the taxpayer instead, as the portion currently paid by insurers shows up as a larger deficit in the government’s budget. Thus the national health plan will likely be bankrupt in the first year; and everybody will wonder what happened to their projections for costs, which were grossly understated.

philwynk on July 27, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Thus the national health plan will likely be bankrupt in the first year; and everybody will wonder what happened to their projections for costs, which were grossly understated.

philwynk on July 27, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Either that, or they will hold to their payment schedules and watch the doctors go out of business.

Count to 10 on July 27, 2009 at 2:13 PM

I wrote both my Senators to say that I not only expected them to vote against the impending health care legislation, but to be vocal opponents of it. Here is Sen Warner’s form letter response;

Thank you for your recent letter regarding reforming our nation’s health care system. I share your concerns about the need for comprehensive health care reform, especially during this challenging economic time.

Although I do not support a government-run single-payer health care system, I believe we need comprehensive reform to achieve a competitive, cost-effective, and efficient system. This effort should be primarily focused on ensuring that all Americans can get adequate health coverage, and the coverage must be cost-effective and based upon data-driven medical standards. We must ensure that competition remains among health care providers because it is precisely that competition that drives innovation and cost reduction in the industry. Any final reform should also include measures to promote prevention and wellness, senior navigation through the health system, health information technology (“health IT”) and telemedicine.

The health care reform debate in the Senate will intensify over the coming weeks, with the Finance Committee and Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions reviewing and amending legislation before the bill is debated by the full Senate. Although I do not sit on those Committees, I am actively engaged in drafting legislation to be included in the final package and in discussions with my fellow Senators on improvements we can make to the current bill. Much of the current controversy surrounding reform efforts has been focused on whether the bill should include a public health insurance option. As evidence that there is room to compromise, several alternatives are being discussed ranging from non-profit regional co-operatives to a delayed public option. I will keep your views in mind as we consider these and other proposals.

Thanks again for contacting me. As health care reform in the Senate takes shape, I value your opinions. I recently convened a task force on health IT, the product of a widely-attended conference at VCU, for the purpose of putting Virginia on the cutting edge of health IT. If you would like information about this initiative or my recently-introduced Senior Navigation and Planning Act, please visit my website at: http://www.warner.senate.gov . As we move forward, I will continue to seek out the advice and opinions of all Virginians in order to help shape an improved health care system that will be in all of our best interests.

Sincerely,
MARK R. WARNER
United States Senator

SoonerMarine on July 27, 2009 at 2:16 PM

SoonerMarine on July 27, 2009 at 2:16 PM

I impressed you could hold onto that letter long enough to read it – it’s so greasy.

LimeyGeek on July 27, 2009 at 2:18 PM

Let’s not forget about the difference between cost & price or the difference between regulation vs. oversight.

LFRGary on July 27, 2009 at 2:28 PM

I think Obama has blown this big-time. He basically let the idiots in Congress turn this into some kind of odd circus.

I never thought he was the one to push this through. I always thought Hillary was the one.

This public option is a passion of mine. I totally support it.

It makes me ill to see what’s happening.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Obama let Congress have it, because he’s not capable of rendering a bill of this magnitude, on his own. Did you see the presser? He’s just the salesman. He hasn’t a clue as to what’s in it, and even if he did read it, he’d not understand it.

It makes me sick to see an American citizen espousing the want, for a public option. You have no clue as to what you’re saying, or you’d turn from this, in the blink of an eye. If you think insurance premiums are high, than take a look at the taxes paid out by the citizens of Canada, UK and France. It will cost you monetarily, and with your life. Because with the public option, if you get a disease, you’ll be on your won. Democrats aren’t shy about their opinions on population control, are they.

capejasmine on July 27, 2009 at 2:46 PM

Blood in the water?Maybe don’t f*** with the CBO.

DDT on July 27, 2009 at 2:46 PM

I am close to seeing a lifetime dream here. It may be imperfect, for sure, but I do want to see this.
AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:09 PM


All of your posts are vague. There is never one shred of detail in any of them. What is your lifetime dream? Do you want to see the government decide that old people must die? How about getting rid of those with any form of disability? Gee doesn’t that reek of eugenics? Gee where have I heard that before?

All this talk about effectively jettisoning those with handicaps. If you wipe out bipolar patients you would have never had Faulkner, Dickens, or van Gogh. If you disallow preemies you would have never had Issac Newton, Keppler, or Churchill. And, if you wipe out the autistic spectrum you would have never had Jefferson or Einstein as they were likely to have had Asperger’s. As a matter of fact Darwin was thought to have had Asparger’s. Ironic isn’t it?

So, AnninCA: What is your lifelong dream???

Jed_Eckert on July 27, 2009 at 2:49 PM

I am close to seeing a lifetime dream here. It may be imperfect, for sure, but I do want to see this.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:09 PM

That’s odd…my lifetime dreams never included having someone else pay my way.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 27, 2009 at 2:51 PM

Why would the mathematical facts deter liberals from a goal? They are on auto-pilot, zombies who know nothing but what their ideologists in the universities tell them.

This country is dying from the spew that comes from “higher learning” centers. When these bastions of thought convinced us to feel our way through life, they sent us into the grave yard.

leftnomore on July 27, 2009 at 3:11 PM

I am close to seeing a lifetime dream here. It may be imperfect, for sure, but I do want to see this.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Your life long dream was to have socialized, oppressive, rationed, medical care? Wow. Do you always dream so big???

So you also imagined a health care system that denies care to special needs, and handicapped people? I think the nazi’s did the same thing in Germany at one time.

What is one’s life long dream, is anothers hellish nightmare.

capejasmine on July 27, 2009 at 3:12 PM

I’m a little late to this party, but in case nobody’s posted it previously, take a look at this.

It’s worse than you thought.

warbaby on July 27, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Oh, and Ann? I don’t think Obamacare covers breast augmentations, liposuction, or face lifts. We reserve those tax dollars for Biden, and Pelosi, and Hillary! Waddle tucks are getting so expensive.

capejasmine on July 27, 2009 at 3:14 PM

How much do you want us to give?

DFCtomm on July 27, 2009 at 1:30 PM

They only answer ‘more’….

Fighton03 on July 27, 2009 at 3:14 PM

It makes me ill to see what’s happening.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 12:39 PM

get used to it if the gov’t gets further into healthcare.

Fighton03 on July 27, 2009 at 3:16 PM

1. Move the insurance deduction from business to individuals.
2. Prohibit any federal funding of health care beyond X date. Vetrans Admin excepted

Problem solved.

I’d rather the government pay old folks diretly and let 1/2 of it get stolen than feed a bureaucracy.

Partisan on July 27, 2009 at 1:55 PM

we have a winner! get rid of third party pay and you’ll she healthcare charges REALLY change.

Fighton03 on July 27, 2009 at 3:19 PM

I think Obama has blown this big-time. He basically let the idiots in Congress turn this into some kind of odd circus.

I never thought he was the one to push this through. I always thought Hillary was the one.

This public option is a passion of mine. I totally support it.

It makes me ill to see what’s happening.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Ann,

Why are you so sadistic?

Why do you want to euthanize older people?

You are a pain/pleasure lib who wants to make themselves FEEL good by simply passing a bill to force happiness on everybody.

It doens’t work that way.

Why don’t you admit it that you are against humnanity?

You are so messed up in the head.

We already have two incredibly wastful government healthcare programs.

Why would you want to have the government get between doctors and their patients and tell them what they can and can’t do?

Could you just once on this site use your head and THINK this through?

Sapwolf on July 27, 2009 at 3:20 PM

I completely disagree with the GOP on this issue. No if’s and’s or but’s.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:10 PM

Ann, I want the attention you get. Except for being rational.

leftnomore on July 27, 2009 at 3:24 PM

I am close to seeing a lifetime dream here. It may be imperfect, for sure, but I do want to see this.

AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:09 PM

free gubmint cheese…. we wants it, my precious.

bloviator on July 27, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Look at the bright side. If this passes and the services worsen, the Democratic party will be obliterated for a generation. Think of all the great legislation we can get through! PASS IT! PASS IT!
:’/

leftnomore on July 27, 2009 at 3:28 PM

PLEASE AnninCA!

Put down the Hopium pipe.

The future of HA depends on it.

ARRRRGGGHHHHH!

Sapwolf on July 27, 2009 at 3:31 PM

They’re going to find that the current system is by far the most efficient.

Without killing Grandma.

Just watch.

drjohn on July 27, 2009 at 3:36 PM

So you also imagined a health care system that denies care to special needs, and handicapped people? I think the nazi’s did the same thing in Germany at one time.

capejasmine on July 27, 2009 at 3:12 PM

They also voted for hope and change to get rid of the Weimar Republic.

From Wikipedia:The Nazi party owed its huge increase to an influx of workers, unemployed, despairing peasants, and middle-class people. The millions of radical adherents at first forced the Party towards the Left. They wanted a renewed Germany and a new organisation of German society.

Jed_Eckert on July 27, 2009 at 3:46 PM

Get the government the f**k out of healthcare.

Sapwolf on July 27, 2009 at 3:49 PM

Cue up the Al Gore puppet for a big fat unnuanced, “He LIED to us! Obama LIED to us about his healthcare plan saving money!”

DaMav on July 27, 2009 at 4:02 PM

I wonder when those public servants who actually serve the public will start getting concrete boots, an old Chicago pastime, instead of merely getting fired?

burt on July 27, 2009 at 4:48 PM

I am close to seeing a lifetime dream here. It may be imperfect, for sure, but I do want to see this.
AnninCA on July 27, 2009 at 1:09 PM

I’m sorry, I usually don’t respond to trollish drama queens but I have to this time.

Your ridiculous posts today remind me of a line in Shawshank Redemption when inmate Andy Dufresne, baffled by the actions of Warden Norton says to him, “Don’t be so obtuse”.
Anna, stop with the Warden Norton impressions here.

FireBlogger on July 27, 2009 at 5:32 PM

ObamaCare thugs, meet Elliot Ness.

geckomon on July 27, 2009 at 5:33 PM

“Combining those provisions, increases in health care spending in excess of the rate of growth in income would be borne entirely by the federal government in the form of higher subsidy payments—because those payments would have to cover the entire difference between the total premium for insurance coverage and the capped amount that enrollees would pay.”

Yep. We’re seeing the crumbling of an epic housing bubble fuled by the simultaneous increases in demand through expanding ownership opportunity and expanded access to credit. we can clearly see how inflationary those two factors became.

Now that many millions are losing jobs, and tens of millions more are losing credit lines and reducing debt, and the home equity ATM is shut down, there is an air of deflation. If the general population paid for their healthcare out of pocket, then health care costs would have to deflate proportionately. That means medical personnel, lab technicians and insurance staff taking it in the chin with the rest of us.

Instead, this plan just repeats the housing bubble mistakes but with health care. We begin with medical costs that have already outpaced income and then add expanded access and Uncle Sam’s charge card. So inflation in the health sector is guaranteed even as most other sectors experience deflation.

shuzilla on July 27, 2009 at 5:43 PM

I want people wealthier than me to pay for my health care. So far, I’m not impressed with the house version.

However, I do want people wealthier than me to pay for my health care.

WashJeff on July 27, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Awesome. The best translation of AnninCA yet.

holygoat on July 27, 2009 at 10:13 PM

I keep telling people its either going to come out of the line on your paycheck labeled “Federal Income Tax Withheld” or “Health Insurance Premium”. Obama can try to hide it any way he wants, but either way you’re going to be paying more and getting less if Obama has his way.

taznar on July 27, 2009 at 10:13 PM

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