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Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Without doubt or competition, the single largest social policy advance since the Great Society" 


Ezra Klein is probably the leading blogger on health care policy, left or right, though he is most certainly left. When he says something like this about the bill that is about to pass the Senate, attention must be paid:

This is a good bill. Not a great bill, but a good bill. Imagine telling a Democrat in the days after the 2004 election that the 2006 election would end Republican control of Congress, the 2008 election would return a Democrat to the White House, and by the 2010 election, Democrats would have passed a bill extending health-care coverage to 94 percent of Americans, securing trillions of dollars in subsidies for low-income Americans (the bill's $900 billion cost is calculated over 10 years, but the subsidies continue indefinitely into the future), and imposing a raft of new regulations on private insurers. It is, without doubt or competition, the single largest social policy advance since the Great Society.

Shorter Ezra: There has been no legislation in forty-five years that gave away more free stuff to people who produce less than they consume, paid for by people who produce more than they consume.

16 Comments:

By Blogger John, at Sun Dec 20, 11:27:00 PM:

(the bill's $900 billion cost is calculated over 10 years, but the subsidies continue indefinitely into the future)

I admire the optimism. I feel that reality will crush it rather rapidly.

Between all the other unfunded liabilities, plus this, does anybody see a happy ending?  

By Blogger SR, at Mon Dec 21, 12:58:00 AM:

Only the people who produce health care can "give it away." When they decide that the price tag is not high enough, or the meddling is too onerous, they will stop giving it away. When the government decides that they aren't giving enough away, and try to force them to give it away, a lot of them (us) will simply go away. Then Ezra Klein, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama can try and cure your cancer.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Mon Dec 21, 02:12:00 AM:

does anybody see a happy ending

Unless it includes funding for free Viagra, no ;->  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 21, 06:50:00 AM:

94% of Americans will have health insurance,up from what? 30%? 50%? 70%?

Acutually, today, some 90% of Americans have health insurance and some 80% are satisfied.

So what is all this about?

Political power. Micro-managing everyone's life. That's what it's about.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Mon Dec 21, 07:17:00 AM:

As a practicing physician, I am now more concerned about how the Obameconomy is going to hurt my retirement plan than I am about the health care bill.

I have no intention of becoming a government employee.  

By Blogger neomom, at Mon Dec 21, 08:21:00 AM:

Yeah - that "Great Society" welfare state has really worked out dandy for us hasn't it?  

By Anonymous Mad as Hell ...., at Mon Dec 21, 09:10:00 AM:

Last week in his Charlie Gibson interview, Obama admitted that: "... we have a structural deficit. We take in 18 percent of gross domestic product in taxes, and we spend 23 percent." This 5% spread translates to about $800 billion per year, which is more than what our top 5% earners pay each year in federal income taxes.

For a long time, payroll taxes made a net positive contribution to the federal budget. This is no longer true as we've passed a demographic cross-over point. Medicare/Medicaid spending is now bigger than Social Security. It's obvious that the Healthcare bill will add to the expense side of the ledger and substantially so.

Obama literally said in his Gibson interview that if we don't pass Healthcare, the federal government will go bankrupt. Obama could have gone on to say that if we do pass Healthcare, the federal government will still go broke -- just faster.

Have we all fell down a rabbit hole to a place where basic arithmetic no longer applies? You'd have to substantially expropriate incomes over $70,000 to balance the account. Has this always been the plan?  

By Blogger buck smith, at Mon Dec 21, 09:38:00 AM:

Anyone know if the tax on medical devices is in the senate bill?  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Mon Dec 21, 09:39:00 AM:

Probably. And it's just as well. We're overdue for a rebellion in this country anyway.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 21, 09:58:00 AM:

But, we haven't seen the real purpose yet! At some point very soon, we will be so broke that we'll have to reduce spending.
Obama the Usurper will demand that we reduce military spending, first, by modest amounts, and, then, by amounts that will cripple our military.  

By Blogger randian, at Mon Dec 21, 10:16:00 AM:

Don't forget it isn't just the beneficiaries of this plan that will resist its dissolution. Britain's NHS has well over a million employees, and in a country this size we could hardly have fewer.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 21, 11:17:00 AM:

They are the only true "beneficiaries" of our new bureaucracy- the employees. All the rest of us suffer from this corrupt bargain, this foul piece of middle of the night putrification.

Good luck to the politicians in their next jobs, I very much hope. In the meantime I also hope they're pelted with rotten tomatoes everywhere they go. And if Ben Nelson thinks that future Senates can't and won't end the sweetheart under-the-table bribe he took for betraying his constituents and country, then he's even more naive than he appears.

Vote them all out. Every last one of the crooked thieves. Then, pass a new law ending the damage of this $2.5 trillion dollar corrupt bargain.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 21, 12:08:00 PM:

There are two other major beneficiaries of this bill, health insurance companies (because the government is dictating that we must purchase their product) and tort lawyers, who have been winners under the old political regime in health care and win even bigger in the new.

Public employee unions and trial lawyers, they are the winners. America loses.  

By Anonymous Blacque Jacques Shellacque, at Mon Dec 21, 05:36:00 PM:

"It is, without doubt or competition, the single largest social policy advance since the Great Society."

And will probably be just as damaging.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 21, 10:04:00 PM:

"The Great Leap Backwards"

Yes, AFSCME and SEIU will undoubtedly enjoy the spoils from this, as well as AARP, the ABA and all the connected BMF lobbiests as well.
What do think that all the Democrat Congressmen and Senators who might loose their phoney-baloney government jobs are planning for, anyways?
That high paid 7 figure lobbying job. In a year or two, they might actually know what they just voted for.

-David  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 22, 04:28:00 PM:

Acorn gets money in this bill, amazingly enough. There is absolutely no shame in the Senate. None. They are scum.  

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