Health Care Budget Games

Bruce McQuain points out something I think has not gotten enough attention in the health care bill.  The new taxes being proposed start in 2010, but the benefits don't begin until 2013 and are phased in through something like 2018.  That means for any 10-year budget look, there are 10 years of taxes but only 6-7 years of benefits.  And even with this trick, the plan STILL adds a trillion dollars to the deficit, even before the certainly more pessimistic CBO numbers come in.


  1. Methinks:

    I believe H.R. 3200 calls for taxes to start in 2011 (not 2010), but your point still stands.

    Bruce did a great job picking apart the speech. The Intrade contract on "gov. healthcare reform Dec09" keeps sinking. Good.

  2. Jakob:

    Obama in his speech said the public option will not be subsidized and will entirely be paid for by premiums. Then what is the $900B for? Where is that money going to?

  3. K:

    As usual. The politician's numbers change. Yet he will deny that the older numbers were ever wrong.

    The politician says "It is you who err, my new numbers measure something slightly different."

    And somehow the newer numbers always make his proposals seem better and feasible.

    And provisions that never were in the bill have been deleted. And the words it contains really mean something else (and will mean something else still after it is passed.) And those actions it permits will never happen.

  4. ilovebenefits:

    These are excellent points. Here are a few more of what appear to be contradictions.

    The President said he'd propose taking $500m out of Medicare. He also said that Medicare wouldn't change. But if you take half a billion from Medicare Advantage, it is all but inevitable that there will be re-run of Medicare Plus Choice from the 1990s when funding for this program was reduced and the program disappeared in most places.

    The President said that they would pay for some of the costs through the elimination of fraud and abuse of Medicare. If he knows there is fraud and abuse and they can find and eliminate it, do they need additional legislation to do it? If they do need additional legislation, I'll bet they could get that passed as a standalone bill in a heartbeat!

    Follow the debate and other health care delivery issues at

  5. nom de guerre:

    say what you will about clinton, but when he lied, he took care to make them sound reasonably plausible. obama, OTOH, doesn't even bother with that. he just tells the most blatant, obvious lies and moves on because *he expects you to believe it simply because he's the guy that said it*.

    what's worse than a sociopath? answer: an **arrogant** sociopath.

    this will all end badly.