Health Systems Innovations Network, a consulting group, went ahead and estimated the full cost of a bill that included the subsidies and Medicaid expansion, and reduced the number of uninsured by 99 percent. With these assumptions, they estimated (pdf) the cost at a staggering $4 trillion over 10 years, resulting in the shift of 79 million Americans to government-run health care. The report does not include possible tax increases or spending offsets, but notes that, “this would be a challenging proposal to finance with budget neutrality.”
And now the Democrats are getting a bit worried and have given the folks with common sense an opening to fight back:
The Senate Finance Committee is delaying its first public drafting session on major health care legislation until after the July Fourth recess, a lengthy setback but one that even Democrats say is critically needed to let them work on reducing the costs of the bill.
The Finance Committee’s bill is believed to have the best chance of bipartisan support. The drafting session had been scheduled for Tuesday. But new cost estimates by the Congressional Budget Office on health care proposals came in much more expensive than expected, emboldening critics and alarming Democrats.
Congressional Democrats and the White House are scrambling to regain their footing after a series of setbacks has stalled political momentum to reform the nation’s healthcare system.~~~
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee postponed the markup of its healthcare reform bill by one day, to Wednesday. On the eve of that markup, the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce publicly ripped the bill.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) initially planned to release his bill Wednesday, but he has pushed back his timetable because of cost estimate concerns.
“Will we have something out tomorrow? Not sure,” Baucus said Tuesday. “Thursday or probably Friday,” he added.
Perhaps more importantly, the unity that Democrats touted earlier this year has cracked. As conservatives lambaste Democrats, liberal healthcare groups are not rushing to their defense because so many questions about the legislation have not been answered.
Of course with the MSM still behaving like Obama’s own mouthpiece it will be difficult, but not impossible, to stop the idiocy:
ABC is refusing paid ads for its health care program at the White House. Thus they’re refusing even a paid-for alternative viewpoint.
We requested the rates to buy a 60 second network spot immediately preceding the broadcast of the Town Hall meeting. We would have produced a spot specifically for this program.
Here is statement from Rick Scott, chairman of Conservatives for Patients Rights.
“It is unfortunate – and unusual – that ABC is refusing to accept paid advertising that would present an alternative viewpoint for the White House health care event. Health care is an issue that touches every American and all potential pieces of legislation have carried a pricetag in excess of $1 trillion of taxpayers’ money. The American people deserve a healthy, robust debate on this issue and ABC’s decision – as of now – to exclude even paid advertisements that present an alternative view does a disservice to the public. Our organization is more than willing to purchase ad time on ABC to present an alternative viewpoint and our hope is that ABC will reconsider having such viewpoints be part of this crucial debate for the American people. We were surprised to hear that paid advertisements would not be accepted when we inquired and we would certainly be open to purchasing time if ABC would reconsider.”
And as Ed Morrissey notes, the Obama camp is actually helping to kill this crap:
Meanwhile, the Administration hasn’t been completely absent from the work on the bill — but their contribution may hurt more than it helps. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius tried explaining that a public plan would help competition, but obviously doesn’t understand markets or competition:
In an interview with The Associated Press, Sebelius said that President Barack Obama does not want to drive health insurers out of business, but make them more competitive by offering working families and small businesses the option of a public plan without the high overhead costs of marketing, administration and profits.
“I think there is a lot of understanding that the private market has really failed to provide affordable coverage to Americans,” Sebelius said. The industry has had “a lot of opportunities” to get rid of coverage restrictions and other unpopular policies, Sebelius said, and really “hasn’t served Americans very well.”
Sebelius apparently doesn’t understand that markets provide competition, and government stifles it. This clueless statement assumes that the “private market” is a single entity rather than a series of competitors working in a government-regulated market, competing for customers. If competition exists between the government and the “private market” as a monolithic entity, the government will prevail — which is exactly the argument Obama’s critics have made in casting the public option as a Trojan horse for single-payer nationalization. This statement couldn’t be more idiotic if Joe Biden had said it.
Hell, it wasn’t just a month and a half ago that a Obama Democrat admitted ObamaCare will kill private insurance: