AIP Column: Faith-based economics
posted at 8:47 am on July 31, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
Recalling Barack Obama’s promise to restore science to its rightful place in policymaking during the campaign, I wondered earlier this week whether Obama knew that mathematics is a science. After all, the CBO continues to rip Democratic claims of big savings through ObamaCare by doing the actual math that Democrats and the White House won’t do. Congressional Democrats threw in the towel this week by changing the argument to claim that ObamaCare is so super-duper, new-and-improved, better-than-Brand-X cool that it will produce savings that no economist can predict ahead of time. I dedicated my weekly AIP column to the new faith-based economics:
The Beltway newspaper The Hill reported that Democrats now want voters to disregard the financial analysis from the Congressional office they control … In other words, don’t pay attention to the actual numbers provided by people who use math to calculate costs. Instead, have faith in the remarkable cure-all powers of Dr. Obama’s Health-Care Reform Elixir! It has so many benefits and cost savings that even the nation’s leading analysts cannot detect with the naked eye!
This doesn’t just represent a new spin for a failing policy. It undermines the entire argument for health-care reform, at least as presented by Obama and his allies. They justified the nationalization of the health-care industry on the premise that uncontrolled costs would bankrupt the nation as well as an increasing number of individual Americans. The Obama administration and Democratic leadership in Congress argued, both implicitly and explicitly, that their reform would install rational cost controls while giving greater access to all Americans. In fact, that is the only possible rationale a politician could have for the government to restructure a private industry.
This new approach completely undermines the argument for a systemic overhaul of the industry. Thanks to the CBO, we know all of the costs – and it’s important to remember that while the official deficit hit in Decade One is $239 billion, we only get within that close to break-even thanks to almost $600 billion in new taxes over the same period. Now, however, we have no idea what cost savings we will see, let alone whether we will have overall better access to medical care, or even the same level of access as most Americans do now. Gallup polls show 83% of Americans satisfied with their current coverage, so this question is of vital importance in any overhaul, both practically and politically.
Do Americans want to buy another round of Dr. Obama’s Magical Medical Elixir? I think voters had enough the first time, when we drank Dr. Obama’s Magical Economic Expander, which was guaranteed to add a “jolt” to your economy, or … well, unfortunately, we don’t get our money back. Ever.
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