Small wonder Barack Obama wanted Congress to pass his health-care overhaul agenda as quickly as possible. While the media has mostly swallowed the sloganeering from the White House over the last few months, there are signs of increasing scrutiny on the wild claims by Obama and Democrats on their ObamaCare bills. Both the AP and CBS review the false promises from Obama just one day after Obama did his “full Ginsburg” on the Sunday talk-show circuit.
First, the AP deflates the Obama claim that health-care reform would save $2 trillion in ten years (h/t Geoff A) in a piece headlined, “SPIN METER: $2 trillion in health savings? Where?“:
Whatever happened to those savings, announced with much fanfare well before Congress had written any of the costly health overhaul bills now in play? Industry groups say they’re a work in progress. Many health analysts say they’re largely speculative. …
For starters, the $2 trillion in reduced costs for care, administrative work and other medical expenses were supposed to be savings for the entire economy, not just the government.
That means that even if the savings were realized, much of it — no one knows exactly how much — would not be available to help Congress pay for its health overhaul bills. Those measures have ranged from an $856 billion bill by the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., to House Democrats’ $1.5 trillion version, both covering 10 years.
CBS, meanwhile, reports on the “Five Health Care Promises Obama Won’t Keep“:
- No individual mandate
- Complete transparency
- Gov’t to directly negotiate for drug prices
- Allow drug importation
- Lower premiums by $2500 for a family of four
CBS somehow misses the $2 trillion in savings, or for that matter, the $4 trillion in savings Obama promised this month at least twice. Most of what Obama promised is vaporware anyway, which the AP does a good job of exposing in its piece. Not only can Obama not show how his plan will lower premiums, it’s actually likely to increase them, thanks to the restrictive nature of the exchanges in relation to health-care plan types. Lower-cost coverage that rely on health-savings accounts (HSAs) and higher deductibles — which make perfect sense for younger individuals and families — will get eliminated in favor of more comprehensive plans.
The real path to cost reduction is to reform the system in favor of more pricing transparency. The ObamaCare solutions do the opposite, entrenching third-party payers and eliminating the HSAs that could actually force better efficiency and reduce overuse of medical resources. It creates a solution that will be so bad at delivering on its promises — as both CBS and AP show — that it will naturally create a push for an entirely different solution. The way these systems have been crafted push a single-payer system as the most easily-transitioned target system in case of failure.
Hardly any media outlets have highlighted those facts, but the belated curiosity of CBS and the AP may signal a fresh approach from the media. Let’s hope it’s not too late to stop this.