Not so mixed, really. Mostly bad. Extending coverage to millions looks good on paper, but when the costs go up and the quality and access go down, what is the net gain? Can that be calculated?President Obama's health care overhaul law will increase the nation's health care tab instead of bringing costs down, government economic forecasters concluded Thursday in a sobering assessment of the sweeping legislation.
A report by economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department said the health care remake will achieve Obama's aim of expanding health insurance — adding 34 million Americans to the coverage rolls.
But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the president's twin goal of controlling runaway costs. It also warned that Medicare cuts may be unrealistic and unsustainable, driving about 15% of hospitals into the red and "possibly jeopardizing access" to care for seniors.
The mixed verdict for Obama's signature issue is the first comprehensive look by neutral experts.
Why weren't we provided with this report before the bill was rammed through? Answer: The Democrats in Congress chose not to wait for it. A letter from the Chief Actuary to Congress, pre-passage, makes that clear:
I regret that my staff and I will not be able to prepare our analysis within this very tight time frame, due to the complexity of the legislation.Hat tip: Legal Insurrection
This is just one shady detail from Obamacare's sordid legislative saga. But it makes it all the more obvious that Congress doesn't care about the costs. If they did, is this the way they would approach this issue, or any other?
As Daniel Henninger points out in a piece in yesterday's WSJ, our representatives can't hide their spending the way they could before the internet. And since Obama took office, the spending has been astronomical. The end result is just what you'd expect: a ballooning deficit of trust in government:
Something unique happened in the first Obama year, about the last thing the Democratic Party needed: The veil was ripped from the true cost of government. This is the ghastly nightmare Democrats have always needed to keep locked in a crypt.Mr. Henninger focuses on the Democrats' spending orgy, but the same principle applies to the process, a mixture of corruption and exertion of raw power repellent to American sensibilities.
Before the Internet, that was easy. Washington, California, New York, New Jersey—who knew what the pols were spending? The Democrats (and their Republican pilot fish) could get away with this. Not now. Email lists, 24/7 newspapers, blogs, TV and talk radio—the spending beast is running naked.
When the financial crisis piled in atop a recession, the Democrats' academic/pundit economists blandly convinced the party to wave a $787 billion stimulus at the problem in early 2009. Then, on April 30, the Democrats passed an FY 2010 budget of $3.5 trillion. This year the FY 2011 budget hit $3.8 trillion, reaching a post-World War II high of 25% of GDP. In March, they passed the trillion-dollar health-care bill. Total headline spending commitments in one year: about $9 trillion. That's a lot of "trust" to ask for during a recession with 9% unemployment. And now a sense is building of some broad middle-class tax grab. After soaking the rich, comes the deluge.
Demonization? No need. They did it to themselves.
Linked at Michelle Malkin (buzzworthy)
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