by David Limbaugh
As President Barack Obama and his party conspire to destroy -- not reform -- the greatest health care system in the world in their quest to remake America into a full-blown Eurosocialist state, it is instructive to remember the premise upon which Obama launched this disaster.
In July, Obama said that if we do not control our health care costs, "we will not be able to control our deficit." He continued: "I've also pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade, and I mean it. ... In addition ... the bill I sign must also slow the growth of health care costs in the long run." Just to be sure there was no misunderstanding, Obama said, "The entire cost of that has to be paid for, and it has got to be deficit-neutral."
Those who didn't know this was hogwash in the first place have no excuse not to see it now. There's nothing deficit-neutral about the plans currently under consideration. There's nothing fiscally prudent about them. Indeed, they would greatly exacerbate our existing fiscal crisis -- not to mention usher in the largest socialistic transformation we've yet seen in this nation.
With the information that has now come to light about the costs of "reform," there is no other rational explanation for Obama's obsession to enact Obamacare than his desire to increase government control over every aspect of our lives.
As others have noted, Obama and company have employed multiple gimmicks to conceal and misrepresent the true costs of Obamacare. Like other groups wanting to destroy America from the outside, liberals are patient. By backloading their spending, they hope to deceive Americans into thinking their plan is budget-neutral.
Thus, their bills disguise their true net costs by deferring most new spending for five years (while increasing taxes and cutting Medicare almost immediately). This trick is so transparently deceitful that if attempted by a Republican administration, we'd have already heard rumblings for impeachment.
Specifically, Democrats have said their proposal would cost $848 billion over 10 years, but the true cost would be some multiple of that. Using Congressional Budget Office figures, Investor's Business Daily reports that only 1 percent of the spending would come in the first four years of the 10 years the Democrats are counting (2010-13). If you begin the 10-year calculation in the year appreciable spending would begin -- 2014 -- the cost would be $1.8 trillion. (Sen. Judd Gregg, it should be noted, estimates the costs for that 10-year period -- 2014-23 -- would be much greater, at $2.5 trillion.) Over the next five years (2024-28), the costs would escalate even faster, totaling $1.7 trillion.
In addition, the Cato Institute's Michael Cannon reveals another gimmick Democrats are using to understate the actual costs for the first true 10-year period. Obama, despite his campaign promises to the contrary, would force the voluntarily uninsured to purchase health insurance. Those mandated costs should be counted as a tax just as surely as if they were first paid to the government for distribution to the insurance companies. In fact, the CBO did score similar mandates as taxes under Hillary Clinton's reform plan in the '90s. But by treating these mandated costs as "off-budget," Obama hides 60 percent of the bill's total costs, according to Cannon. When all these gimmicks are correctly accounted for, says Cannon, "the total cost of ObamaCare reaches ... $6.25 trillion."
If all this weren't bad enough, be advised that Democrats have employed chicanery on the tax side, as well as the spending side. Dick Morris and Eileen McGann recently disclosed the Democratic trick -- contained in both the House and Senate bills -- to require states to cover a greater percentage of Medicaid costs, which would hit taxpayers just as hard but would come down technically as tax increases at the state level. The Heritage Foundation's blog, "The Foundry," also details a slew of new taxes decreed by Sen. Harry Reid's health care legislation, totaling some $370 billion over the next 10 years.
If you still don't believe Obamacare is about increased federal control rather than about cutting costs, you should review provisions in the proposed legislation that would result in federal micromanagement of all private health insurance. As "The Foundry" reports, "Like the others, the Reid bill would subject all private health insurance ... to detailed Federal regulation. These so-called 'insurance reform' provisions amount to a de facto nationalization of health insurance and they would produce that effect regardless of whether or not Congress creates another, new government-run health insurance plan."
But as depressing as Obama's relentless socialist assault on America is, I am continually lifted up by the fighting spirit of those who will never abandon the fight to preserve liberty.