Healthcare headlines (or, what's up with ObamaCare)
Some of today's ObamaCare headlines...
There had been rampant speculation that the White House would narrow
its ambitions for health-care legislation after the loss of the
Senate majority last month. Instead, the president's proposal is
striking for the extent to which it hews to the basic scale and
framework of the bills on which Congress has toiled for months.
That decision -- to go big one last time, rather than small -- emerged quickly inside the White House after senior advisers to President Obama concluded privately that his goals for comprehensive changes to the health-care system could not be done piecemeal....
A mere three days before President Obama's supposedly bipartisan
health-care summit, the White House yesterday released a new blueprint
that Democrats say they will ram through Congress with or without
Republican support. So after election defeats in Virginia, New Jersey
and even Massachusetts, and amid overwhelming public opposition,
Democrats have decided to give the voters what they don't want anyway.
Ah, the glory of "progressive" governance and democratic consent.
"The President's Proposal," as the 11-page White House document is
headlined, is in one sense a notable achievement: It manages to take
the worst of both the House and Senate bills and combine them into
something more destructive. It includes more taxes, more subsidies and
even less cost control than the Senate bill. And it purports to fix the
special-interest favors in the Senate bill not by eliminating them—but
by expanding them to everyone. ...
Again, they just can't help themselves.
President Obama tried to woo the GOP with sweeteners and threw out the
controversial "cornhusker kickback," but the White House's first stab
at resurrecting the health care overhaul was so bare-bones that
Congress' budget scorekeeper couldn't put a price tag on it....
The Times points out that Obama's new proposal is essentially just an outline. An eleven page outline at that. Which might explain why the Congressional Budget Office was unable to tell lawmakers just how much the President's proposal would cost...since there were not details, just an outline.
The information wasn't enough for the nonpartisan Congressional Budget
Office, the official keeper of budget costs, to even venture an
estimate of the bill's price tag.
"Although the proposal reflects many elements that were
included in the health care bills passed by the House and the Senate
last year, it modifies many of those elements and also includes new
ones," CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said in a blog post.
"Preparing a cost estimate requires very detailed
specifications of numerous provisions, and the materials that were
released this morning do not provide sufficient detail on all of the
Of course, this is one way to keep Republicans from being able to criticize it as another 2,700 page monstrosity. On the other hand, it's a little like trying to get people to buy a pig in a poke when even the Democrat run CBO can't tell anyone how much it will actually cost.
But Republicans seem a little non-plused.
"The president has crippled the credibility of this week's summit by
proposing the same massive government takeover of health care based on
a partisan bill the American people have already rejected," said House
Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican.