Health Care Costs: Sweep Away the Smoke and Mirrors

Feb 26, 2010
Health Care

At yesterday’s White House Health Summit, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin explained how President Obama and Congressional Democrats are using smoke and mirrors to hide the true cost of their health care bill.  The Democrats claim their bill will reduce the deficit, but that’s misleading.  Why?  Because while they’re counting tax revenues for 10 years, they’re counting new spending for only 6 years.  That doesn’t make any sense.  An honest assessment of the bill’s costs must be based on the price tag when all aspects of the bill take effect.  And if we do that, it turns out that over a 10-year period, the bill will increase government spending by $2.5 trillion and increase the national debt by $1.4 trillion.  Those are the facts, and all the smoke and mirrors in the world won’t hide them.


Meanwhile’s today’s Wall Street Journal has an editorial explaining why the President’s health care plan will increase premiums for consumers.  At yesterday’s summit, President Obama admitted that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office was correct in estimating that premiums in the individual market would jump by 10% to 13% in 2016 because the government will mandate that consumers buy richer benefits than they otherwise would.  But he dismissed the argument by saying, "Yes, I am paying 10% to 13% more because instead of buying an apple, I'm getting an orange.”  But isn’t that the point, Mr. President?  Why should consumers be forced to pay 10-13% more for any product they don’t want or need – whether it’s an orange or a car or a health care plan?  Shouldn’t consumers have the freedom to choose for themselves?  I think they do.  And I know most Americans would agree.

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