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Monday, July 20, 2009

Good Health Care Reform Reading

Need some good reading on health care reform? Try the Director of the Congressional Budget Office's blog. That's right, the director of the CBO has a blog.

Here's his preliminary analysis of the House proposal. Cheaper health care is going to increase the deficit over a trillion dollars? So much for President Obama's "revenue neutral" promise.

Here's the Director's letter to Charlie Rangel, explaining the budget consequences of just the insurance mandates in the bill. Just this portion increases deficits by a trillion dollars over 10 years!

Want to be scared? Here's his long term budget outlook. Keep in mind, it's based on current programs, not including the proposed legislation on health care. As he points out, current mandatory program spending (Social Security, Medicare, etc) is unsustainable. Now we want to add a hundred or so billion to that unsustainable trajectory each year.

A few things about the CBO, it's a non-partisan office. Congress in the past has agreed to use CBO estimates; not congressional staff estimates; when deciding what something will cost. The Democrats have tossed that idea out the window on health care reform. They don't want you to get someone elses numbers.

One of the problems with CBO scoring is that it uses "static" numbers to do it's calculations. It's almost always overestimated the effect of a tax increase, and the amount of deficit added by tax breaks.

In the case of health care, their trillion dollar increase in the deficit is based on the idea that none of the folks getting hit with a surtax on their income will adjust their income to reduce that tax burden. History shows us the vast majority of them will, and the amount of taxes collected will be considerably lower than what's projected.

Before you believe what your Congressman, Senator or President are telling you about the health care reform, check out those links. Then ask yourself, are you willing to pass that much deficit on to your children and grandchildren, since they'll be the one's paying for it.

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