John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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How They Going to Pay For It?

Posted on June 16, 2009
So, How Are They Going to Pay for It?
The Congressional Budget Office said that the Democrats’ plans to impose government-run health care are going to be expensive.
As the Hill reports today: “The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report late Monday estimating the cost of a leading healthcare reform proposal at more than $1 trillion, but that figure looked only at a portion of the bill…The analysis falls just within the most expensive cost scenario sketched out by Democratic leaders in recent days, but does not include an estimate for a highly contentious government-run insurance plan that would compete with private insurers…The 10-year cost of reform could approach $2 trillion if the projections are made from the date that proposals are fully implemented. While the projected cost for a new system may reach $1.5 trillion for 2010-2019, it could run significantly higher for 2013-2022, as healthcare costs rise steadily each year.”
Note that last sentence. The costs could run significantly higher, just as the baby boomers start retiring in earnest, and as we go broker.
So, the question stands: How are they going to pay for it?
The idea that government can bring greater efficiencies to the market place than the market place can is pure fantasy. When has the government ever been efficient?
The President still hasn’t leveled with us about that critical question. How will he pay for this 2 trillion more in spending?
According to polls, most people are pretty happy with their health care. Imagine how happy they will be if they are forced into a public plan because their employer decides to drop their insurance coverage.
Probably one of the best ways to cut the costs of health care and to diminish the problem of defensive medicine is to reform the medical liability laws. So, the President went to the American Medical Association and refused to endorse that idea in any specific way, eliciting boos from that usually respectful crowd. Amazing.
And still the President has said nothing about he is going to pay for his health care plan.
There is a difference between making grand promises on the campaign trail and great compromises in the legislative process. The President is still making grand promises. But until he comes up with a way to pay for all of this new spending, there won’t be any great comprises.