Obamacare

Levin on the Baucus Health-Care Bill: "A massively ambitious, costly, intrusive, inefficient, and clumsy combination of mandates, taxes, subsidies, regulations, and new government programs"

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Over at the Weekly Standard, Yuval Levin has a useful overview of what's wrong with the Senate Finance Committee's health-care bill:

The latest iteration of Obamacare, emerging this week from the Senate Finance Committee, is said to be a move to the center, avoiding the albatross of a government insurance option and costing "only" $900 billion.

But the bill, shepherded through a series of narrow party-line committee votes by chairman Max Baucus, is far from a compromise measure. It is a massively ambitious, costly, intrusive, inefficient, and clumsy combination of mandates, taxes, subsidies, regulations, and new government programs intended over time to replace the American health insurance industry with an enormous new government entitlement. And it fails to address what even President Obama has said is the core of our health care dilemma: rising costs. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the Baucus bill would actually increase the cost of health insurance premiums.

Certainly, we've seen premium spikes in states that have implemented regulations similar to much of what the Finance Committee bill proposes. Levin's whole essay is worth reading.

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  1. Hope and Change! Hope and Change! Polanski America in the Ass!

  2. Is there really no other way to move in this direction than to abandon a health care system that offers the vast majority of Americans care they are happy with and create a sprawling new federal fiasco?

    There really is no other way.

  3. Oh yes, the Baucus bill is a horror.
    An utter monstrosity, that would likely result in virtually nobody having health insurance until they get sick – since it’s much cheaper to pay the annual fine than the insurance rates. The insurance companies will be driven into bankruptcy by the pre-existing conditions requirement, and everyone will end up on medicare, whose expansion will be funded by a combination of taxes on employers and what is effectively a poll tax – the annual IRS administered fine.
    No sane person in their right mind will either buy health insurance or save for medical expenses. It will completely destroy private health care. And we will end up with single-payer by default.

    1. It’s funny ’cause it’s true.

  4. I don’t think this can be explained by garden-variety stupidity.

    1. Congressional-variety stupidity, however…

  5. Many of the bill’s major provisions would be delayed until 2013, after the next presidential election.

    Surprise, surprise, surprise!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..88218.html

  6. When are the fucking Dems going to realize that they’re not going to get this and just stop and move on to some other stupidity?

    1. Right after some other “crisis” emerges that proves too tempting to their egos?

    2. They might still manage to get * something * passed that they can label “health care reform”. See that all the time in the Hawaii state legislature — if you can’t pass what you want, pretend you came up with something that allegedly fixes the alleged problem.

    3. Hush …
      I’d much rather have than waste their time on this than on financial regulation or cap-and-trade.

    4. They’ll get enough of what they want to keep wanting more, that’s for certain. The people against this reform are getting a bit too complacent and it might just sneak through.

  7. To predict the behavior of ordinary people in advance, you only have to assume that they will always try to escape a disagreeable situation with the smallest possible expenditure of intelligence.

    -Nietzsche

  8. No sane person in their right mind will either buy health insurance or save for medical expenses. It will completely destroy private health care. And we will end up with single-payer by default.

    Congress is deeply divided on whether this is a bug, or a feature.

  9. I’m guessing once social security starts running deficiets and has to cash in those “trust fund” bonds later this year or next, followed a few years later by Medicare, the topic will change, and change permanently.

    1. Ain’t gonna happen. When FICA taxes can’t cover Social Security benefit payments, FICA taxes will be increased, plain and simple.

      The “Social Security Surplus” has never been about “saving for your retirement”, it has always been there for the purpose of raising revenue for current outlays while letting people believe they were not being taxed; many people, possibly a majority, still believe that their FICA taxes are a “social insurance” premium rather than a tax.

      I can’t quite understand why people can’t see this.

  10. I think a good idea is that Baucus Baucus Golley I am totally out of contact with reality, would star in a new reality TV episode of the human sacrifice channel. This would be where Baucus pays my fine for not buying mandatory health insurance by having his heart ripped out with an obsidian knife, his head cut off, and then being hurled carelessly down 3000 stone steps while the natives below await hungrily to eat his wretched remains. That would be a start to make me feel better about the good intentions of our federal government.

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