Time Is Not On ObamaCare's Side


Why didn't we find out about the additional $115 billion in discretionary spending that the Affordable Care Act would require until more than a month after the law's passage? According to FoxNews.co

For health care, it's always Fail-O-Clock

m, the Congressional Budget Office, which produces legislative price tags, says it's because the office simply didn't have enough time.

Couldn't they have just worked more overtime? Doubtful. The agency keeps vampire hours as it is, working late into the night, and, frequently, into the wee hours of the morning as well. Health care staffers were reportedly working 100-hour weeks during the end stages of the health care debate.

As the health care debate wore on, it was easy to mock fence-straddlers like Olympia Snowe who insisted that what legislators needed to do was spend more time mulling and debating the law (and, in Snowe's case, usually without providing any hint of what she wanted to talk about). After all, it frequently seemed as if, with a year or more to look over the basic shape of the proposal, most of what could have been said had been said. And no doubt many legislators were using the "more time" line as an excuse to see which way other votes would fall—in order to make sure they'd be on the winning side.

Yet with the spate of bad news for reform over the last month, calls for more time now seem sensible and justifiable. Turns out it's not just the broad shape of the proposals (which we knew before the debate even started) that matters, it's the myriad specific legislative details—many of which are hastily crafted and stuffed in at the last minute—that matter too.

NEXT: Leave the Gamblers Alone

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. You and your 100 billion.
    Wake me when we get to a million gazillion – real money is when the number has exponents in the triple digits.

  2. Yeah boy!

  3. You’ll love it when we throw another trillion at it!

  4. Flav is wearing Lakers colors, and they’re up against Los Suns now, so that picture is racist.


    1. If that was their actual uniform, I’d become an NBA fan, just for the laughs.

  5. Saw this headline in the local paper of true, blue, NW Indiana. Is it wrong that I smiled?

    Indiana faces potential $3.6B health reform bill

  6. Why didn’t we find out about the additional $115 billion in discretionary spending that the Affordable Care Act would require until more than a month after the law’s passage?

    Because the Congressional study group kept revising their “assumptions” until they got a number they liked?

    What did I win?

  7. Picture is definitely racist.

    Flav is an agent-provocateur sent to the black community by the KKK.

    1. Is he available for children’s parties?

      1. The Klan does not rent out its Klowns.

    2. So, Flav is a racist. Yeah, I get it. That’s right. They are.

    3. In case you are unaware that is a big clock he is holding.

      1. He doesn’t wanna be late for his meds.

  8. Since our dear president promised that this bill/reformation wouldn’t go over the fancy number (One Trillion) – he is honor bound to begin efforts to repeal it.

    1. Ha ha ha….

      I fell out of chair.

    2. Repeal, replace. But the idea wasn’t to save money or help people. The idea was a good old communist takeover so the elite (read: Obama) could live in their dachas( read:White House) and the peasants, “the people” (read: serfs) could all be equal living in squalor and poverty. Obama, you go guy!!!!!!!
      We New York, east coast liberal types are bidding on dachas as we speak!

    3. measure twice, cut once, ole Jack used to say.

  9. So, passing 2300 pages of legislation without time to examine the details was a bad idea? No shit? Who would have thought that?

    Of course, my personal opinion is that a congresscritter who votes for legislation he hasn’t read and doesn’t understand should be impeached for malfeasance. But I’m funny like that.

    1. We can snicker about it all we want, but it really is despicable to push through giant pieces of legislation without care to what’s actually in it, solely in the name of TEAM RED TEAM BLUE politics. All of those fuckers’ heads should have been on pikes and the capitol in flames after they did that. It’s not unreasonable at all to expect them to actually read the motherfucking bills… and if they say that they don’t have enough time to read the long bills, then that means the bills are either TOO LONG or they SHOULD TAKE MORE TIME.

      That these fuckers were tarred and feathered and that most people just shrugged and acted unsurprised is just sad. You can damn sure bet that this kind of shit isn’t what the great men who founded this country had in mind.

      1. Amen.

      2. Was shit invented at the time of our Founders?

    2. impeached for dissagreeing with you?

    3. So am I. Love your comment.

  10. So, does this mean the taxpayers subsidize Flavor Flav’s clock habit?

  11. Duh!

    We have to pass it to find out what’s in it!

    Thanks Nancy!

  12. Why didn’t we find out about the additional $115 billion in discretionary spending that the Affordable Care Act would require until more than a month after the law’s passage?

    Isn’t that obvious? Like Axelrod and Pelosi indicated: you have to pass it first to find out all of the wonderful things in it.

  13. Also, why hasn’t Huffpost mentioned this?

  14. Entire article summarized: We saw it coming and we told you so.

    The real question is, what can be done about it? My proposal for a good start: leave no incumbent standing in November, and for as many Novembers as it takes to sweep away the current population of bloodsuckers. Do NOT award default victory to an incumbent’s major party opponent. In fact, do not elect anyone from the two parties that, hand-in-hand, got us into this mess. Instead, pay close attention to independent and third-party candidates on your ballot and select new officeholders from THAT group, unless it is simply impossible for you to do so. The parties need to get the message, and electoral defeat is the only thing they understand and respect. So we have to be strong and do the right thing in November, or else the wrong thing will keep being done by the political ruling class.

    1. Considering not a single Republican voted for the bill, I’d say you are being a little tough on the GOP here.

  15. This was the headline on our local paper today:
    Indiana faces potential $3.6B health reform bill

    Keep in mind this was in NW Indiana, where it’s about as “Team Blue” as it gets. There’s even a quote from a state rep who says if you factor in savings from people having insurance, it might cost “only” $2.1b. I nearly peed myself laughing.


  16. Yawn, big deal. By the time we hit the default wall, $115 billion will look like a rounding error. The eventual deviations from promised cost will start with T’s, not B’s.

    1. I wouldn’t doubt if it eventually reaches the Q’s.

  17. The correct caption would have had “BOYEEEEEEE” somewhere in it. You lose, Suderman.

  18. Health care staffers were reportedly working 100-hour weeks during the end stages of the health care debate.

    Always fear an industrious idiot.

    1. Nothing improves the quality of your work like exhaustion.

      Back when I was a billable hour serf, we used to sit around and pick out the parts of bond indentures that had obviously been drafted at 3 a.m.

      I would expect the work product of a staff putting in 100 hour weeks to be shit. And guess what? I’d be right.

      1. Word. I remember my early days as a developer. After a certain number of hours, you just weren’t making headway, and often what little headway you were making had to be redone the next day.

      2. Yeah. It’s one thing to pull a single 100 hour week. It’s another entirely to do them one after the other.

  19. I used to work with a guy who thought he did his best work after he’d been up for at least thirty-six hours.

    He was wrong.

    1. your Doctor?

  20. Why, exactly, is there a photo of flava flav with this story? Seems like quite the nonsequitur.

    1. Flava flav is definitely a non sequitur. He does not follow, he leads, or stands alone.

    2. It has to do with the clock he is holding. Get it? Time? I think that is the joke …..

  21. Could we repeal the bill so we could learn about what we repealed?

    1. I don’t care who you are, that right there is funny.

  22. With the way this country is being run into banana republic status, one should heed the first words of a song from the 1964 animated special “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer”

    “Silver and Gold, Silver and Gold”…

    & guns & ammo & food & water

  23. Anyone who states there was a year long discussion on the health care bill is a damned liar. While there may have been a year long floating balloons festival the Reid bill came out on a Friday night after he bought off Nelson and with no debate was moved to the floor for no debate.

  24. Wow, I can’t believe it. Our brand new health care system is going to cost billions, trillions, gazillions more than what our bean-counter-in-chief said it would. Who would ever have thunk it? The next thing I am going to find out is that the pope is Catholic.

    1. Wait till you find out that priests have been raping young boys.

  25. Face it!!!! We all knew that Obama and the Democrats in Congress were desperate to pass the corrupt healthcare bill before anybody had time to actually read it. We all knew it was full of corruption and hundreds o billions, even trillions in hidden costs. We all knew that the Democrats had totally rigged the information they sent to the CBO to get the answers they wanted, and were desperate to get it passed before people could begin to understand that the true cost would be a the very least 3X what they told us and more probalby 10X. We all knew it, but the mainstream media, and Obama Kool-Aide drinkers, pretended to believe Obama to get the bill passed. We have a right to be outraged, but not surprised now that the trillions of dollars in extra costs and corruption are coming to light. All we can do now is hold the arrogant left wing Elites in Congress accountable for their lies, deceipt, and corruption by throwing them out on their ear in Nov. Or get use to living the Chicago Way on a national level….the Arrogant left wing Elites won’t go away on their own!!!!

  26. I don’t want to HEAR ab’t these incompetent CBO asshats putting in 100 hour weeks. It took them that long to “cook the books” so their final(?) numbers came in RIGHT IN LINE with what the administration told them it needed.

    They could’ve saved themselves countless “sleepless” hours by BEING HONEST up front and telling the American people (who pay their wages) the Health Care numbers were a fuc$#ng JOKE!!

  27. Repeal. Repeal. Repeal. Lest we end up like California. The Left was turned California from the “grease” of our nation to the “Greece” of our nation.

  28. Is it true that this Obamascare health thing includes imposition of a tax on the purchase of a house? If in fact that’s true, will health insurers be required to include coverage for the house, too? Houses can get sick, too, you know. Especially when property values fall. If no coverage for the house, then what rationale exists for tossing a transaction tax on real property (a stealthy sales tax that’s exempt from capital gains exemption) into reform of health care coverage? Now it’s clear what they meant when they claimed this Obamascare would be a “comprehensive” reform bill. Guess the tax revenue was needed to get that lying CBO score for the whole bill. Nevermind that revenue from a tax on the sale of a house nicely offsets the $8000 credit for a new home purchase made as of last month.

  29. This issue cuts against the Republicans as much as against the Democrats: they stood by for months until the tea party and town hall protesters forced them to actually oppose Obamacare. They should have been spending those months doing their research and exposing all the garbage in both versions of the bill.

    1. It’s hard to hit a moving target. In the dark.

  30. That tax provided in Obamascare for sale of a home isn’t all that bad, unless you are “too rich” (a married person filing a separate return with more than $125K/yr is “too rich”) and your sale gets more gain than the $500K exclusion “allowed” for capital gains on the house sale — then you get to share your ill-gotten gain with Obama at the rate of 3.8% — so don’t get “too much” wealth, or else.

  31. It’s obvious Obama, Reid and Polosi wanted to push it through fast before the public found out the details. The important thing was not to get it done right,but to get it done fast.

  32. Obamacare is going to bankrupt the country, and the Liberals are still rejoicing. Unbelievable ! Greek snake oil is coming to America.

  33. I am about as happy with the health care bill as anyone on this site, but we need to keep screaming. Every other bill they are trying to rush through is filled with the same poison.

  34. I think that Pelosi and Reid absolutely knew about this additional expenditure and chose to cover it up because they were so hell-fired and determined to push this bill through NO MATTER WHAT. It didn’t matter that the conservatives and Tea Partyers were right. It didn’t matter that the costs were so over the top that even some of the Democrat True Believers would have been shaken to the core by what this measure will require. They lied, they lied, they lied and they continue to lie when they claim they didn’t know. They chose not to know. And we have to pay for it.

  35. All ya gotta do is vote in November!!

  36. Cold Lampin’:

    Drayton – shocklee – sadler

    Um lampin, um lampin, um cole cole lampin
    I got loowies boy, um not trampin
    I just came from da-crib ya know
    Um on da go-throw ya tank into metro
    Live lyrics from the bank of reality
    I kick da flyest dope maneuver technicality
    To a dope track, you wanna hike git out ya backpack
    Um in my flav-mobile cole lampin
    I took dis g upstate cole lampin
    Ta da poke-a-nose, we call da hide-a-ways
    A pack of franks and a big bag of frito lays

    Flavor-flav on a hype tip
    Um ya hype drink, come take a big sip
    Um in position, you can’t play me out da pocket
    I’ll take da dopest beat yougot and I’ll rock-it
    Like chocolate, even vanilla – chocolate, strawberry, saperella
    Flavors are electric – try me – get a shock-a
    Didn’t I tell you to leave flavor flav alone knock-a
    A clock on my chest proves I don’t fess
    I’m a clock-a, rock-a rockin’ wit-da-rest
    Flavor in da house by chuck-d’s side
    Chuck got da flavor-flav don’t hide
    P.e. crazy, crazy p.e. – makin’ crazy loowies for the shoppin spree

    Ya eatin death cause ya like gittin dirt from da graveyard – ya put gravy on it
    Den ya pick ya teeth with tomb stone chips
    And casket cover clips – dead women hips ya do da bump with – bones
    Nutin but love bones
    Lifestyles of the live-en-dead
    First ya live den ya dead – died trying ta clock what I said
    Now I got a murder rap cause I bust ya cap with flavor – pure flavor
    We got magnum brown, shoothki – valoothki
    You could put dat in ya don’t know what I said book
    Shinavative ill factors by da flavor flav
    Come an ride da flavor wave
    In any year on any givin day
    What a brova know – what do flavor say
    Why do dis record play dat way
    Prime time merrily in da day
    Right now dis radio station is busy – brainknowledgeably wizzy
    Honey drippers, you say you got it
    You ain’t got no flavor and I can prove it
    Flavor flav the flav all of flavors
    Onion an garlic french fried potatas
    Make ya breath stink, breath fire
    Makes any onion da best crier

    I know it sounds crazy but it fits perfect
    Peter perfect pimped a perfect peter
    Honey dripper – sucker sipper – big dipper – sucker dipper
    Drippin suckers like it’s goin out-a-style
    Creatin flavors for da flavor flav pile
    Lampin booyee madina style

    Kickin da flavor gittin busy
    Ya goin ouut, I think ya dizzy
    I think ya hungry, cause ya starvin fa flavor
    Flavor most, put it on toast
    Eat it-en taste it en swallow it down
    Imperial flavor gives you da crown
    Of the king called flavor, da king of all flavors
    Rolls an rolls an rolls life savers
    Flavor flav is in everything ya eat cause everything ya eat got flavor
    Flavor flav is da first taste ya git in da mornin – ya breakfast is da flavor
    In between dat ta lunch – in between dat dinner – in between dat ta midnight flavor
    Yeah, das right I got somethin fa all da fandangoes of damangoes of da fandangoes of da mangoes

    1. What is the deeper meaning behing this song? Did anyone here take a poetry interpretation class? Please, help me understand the poet’s intention. What meaning is he trying to convey?

  37. It never would have come to this if Republicans, after defeating Hillary Care, had done something about the issue. But they didn’t do a damn thing, it was all politics and bullshit. Neither party deserves power.

    1. KZ, what, may I ask, do you mean by “done something about the issue”? Do you mean “socialism-lite”? Or do you mean allowing an actual free market in health-care which did not exist even then?

      1. What I mean is, they should have put all their talk about the free market being a better solution than government run health care into action. They had what, fifteen years to prove that their ideas could work? I don’t see that they did much of anything to improve the situation. And now, what do we have? A real statist clusterfuck, that’s what.

        1. KZ, if that is what you mean I agree. And they had a six year period with a Republican President and a Republican Congress together. What they did during that time was actually INCREASE government’s role in health-care. It is disgusting. And they wonder why they lost? It wasn’t just the Iraq war – that was part of it – it was also that the Republican Party could no longer call itself the party of small government.

      2. Not to put too fine point on it, but more government is rarely the solution to anything.

        1. On that we agree.

          1. Yes, I see we are philosophically aligned. Progressivism is a cancer on the body politic. My first instinct is always liberty, it’s what makes this country like none other in history.

            And I thank you for the civility of your inquiry. Good form.

  38. I got a real bad feeling in my gut when Obama had members of the CBO meet him at the White House about a month before the release of their final report.

    How much pressure were members of the CBO put under to make them fudge the figures?

  39. In case no one has picked up on this: It is not a Health Care Bill. It is a tax bill. We are already being taxed for a service that is not available.

    When the time comes for the “service” to be available, then they will say…”This is all wrong…it won’t work”…we will have to move to another plan.

    All of that money we will have paid out will be gone.

    Stop the insanity and wake up to the reality. Obama does nothing for the people. Obama takes money from people…just like he did in Chicago…then he wastes it to make people think he is doing something..but he is only collecting money…never doing anything.

  40. In case no one has picked up on this: It is not a Health Care Bill. It is a tax bill. We are already being taxed for a service that is not available.

    When the time comes for the “service” to be available, then they will say…”This is all wrong…it won’t work”…we will have to move to another plan.

    All of that money we will have paid out will be gone.

    Stop the insanity and wake up to the reality. Obama does nothing for the people. Obama takes money from people…just like he did in Chicago…then he wastes it to make people think he is doing something..but he is only collecting money…never doing anything.

  41. 2012 Prediction Unlikely to Come True: Flav’s gonna switch out fora debt clock; do an NAACP-sanctioned media blitz for the “Re-Elect Obama Campaign” touting his candidate’s awareness of unsustainable US public debt and the Democratic Party’s more-than-just-mere-awareness of said issue, but actual resolve to enact spending cuts to keep our country safe from economic ruin.

  42. Interesting not much has been made of Obama’s healthcare proposal rewrite after the bill was signed. The original bill cut the government subsidy to businesses to keep paying for healthcare expenses of retired employees. This lowered the cost of the healthcare bill, but after he signed the bill, he announced the government would continue to subsidize businesses for this same thing. That means that ‘expense cut’ would now increase the healthcare bill’s cost by billions more. This is in addition to the $115 billion mentioned in this article.

  43. The instant the word “change” uttered from that man’s mouth, I kept on telling people not to vote for that prick. I knew that “change” would only be for the worse, but I never knew it would get this bad. People just assumed that it could never get worse than King Dubya’s regime. Osama I mean Obama was the ultimate trojan horse in November 2008, and those who voted for him fell for it. It is no longer “God Bless America,” it is now “God Help America.” Remember November!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.