The New York Times reports on the devastating report on the Senate bill from the HHS’ Office of the Actuary. (Here’s the link to the report.)
This report should dominate the Sunday shows tomorrow, and Robert Casey Jr.’s attempt to persuade Nebraska’s Ben Nelson sell-out on abortion funding should be topic number 2. The return of the Business Roundtable to sanity about the reality of the bill’s extraordinary costs and very slim benefits should be topic number 3.
Perhaps MSM will begin to figure out that the attempt by the president and the hard left leadership of Congress to jam down a deeply flawed and very unpopular bill interests the average viewer much more than Copenhagen, but don’t count on it.
After discussing EPA’s diktat on carbon and Ahmadinejad’s charge of Mahdi obstructionism on the part of America with Charles Krauthammer yesterday (transcript here), I asked the Post columnist about Obamacare:
HH: All right, back to domestic policy, speaking of trials, tribulations and troubles. Today, the office of the Actuary at the Department of Health and Human Services issued a massive report that concluded that the Obamacare in the Senate version would drive overall health care costs higher, that it would lead to Medicare benefit cuts, that the long term care insurance plan it includes would be a costly failure, that 33 million people would remain uninsured after it went into effect, and that cuts to doctors and hospitals proposed by the bill would put immediately one in five hospitals into the red. Other dire consequences, including a rise in overall health spending, more than if the Senate did nothing. Do you think this will do anything to stop the momentum behind the bill, Charles Krauthammer?
CK: Well, other than that, what you enumerate, it’s a great bill.
CK: The Democrats are marching off a cliff here. You know, how many reports do you have to have? You get it from the Actuary here, as you say, all of these particulars, and we’ve got it from CBO again and again since the middle of June to prove a truism. There’s no free lunch. You want to increase the range, the scope of health care insurance by including 30 million people previously uninsured? It’s going to cost more. The idea that you’re going to expand it while you cut costs is absurd. The idea that you can cut half a trillion out of Medicare, and as Senator Baucus has said even today, will improve care, is simply nutty. We already know that doctors and hospitals are getting slaughtered by the low reimbursement in Medicare. And many of them are simply drowning as a result of the fact that they aren’t even earning enough to cover costs. You’re now going to reduce it by half a trillion more and you’re going to increase the quality of care? This is sort of common sense. And it seems to take a report after report to actually put it into numbers, and to make others acknowledge the obvious. But they are so invested in this, the Democrats, they have a political need to produce something, no matter how monstrous it is, and that’s where they’re headed, to produce anything, no matter how contradictory or impractical.
HH: 30 seconds, Charles, in all your years in Washington, D.C., have you ever had a sense that it has been ever before this kind of strange or out of control?
CK: No, not really. But I have to admit that as a journalist, that Obama and his partners in the House and the Senate are taking us over a cliff, but it is a hell of a ride.
Hard to beat back to back to back interviews with Mark Steyn, James Lileks and Charles Krauthammer, but today’s subject at the Hughniverse blog is an invitation to nominate additional regular guests for the program in 2010. Lileks also has his latest “private label” column posted at his Hughniverse blog.