Posts Tagged ‘deficits’
Health Care News
Tonight, the American people will be watching President Obama’s fifth State of the Union address. How has he done on his promises over the past four years?
Take a look at some of the promises Obama made back in 2009 during his first State of the Union.
“I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office.”
During his first State of the Union, newly inaugurated President Obama vowed to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. Instead, Obama has averaged deficits nearly three times that of his predecessor.
For those who were concerned with President George W. Bush’s $4 trillion national debt, this pledge may have seemed like the “hope and change” the American people voted for in 2008. However, the reality of America’s additional debt over the past four years under the Obama Administration is staggering—almost $6 trillion in four years, on track to triple the amount Bush accumulated over his eight years as President. Now that Obama is heading into his second term, we’ve seen quite a change from the Barack Obama who thought $4 trillion in debt was “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.”
“Over the next two years, this [stimulus] plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs.”
The President promised great things from the stimulus plan, but as Heritage’s J.D. Foster has said, we have to look at his record. He may have promised 3.5 million new jobs, but he’s 7.7 million jobs in the hole instead.
Health Care News
Two new reports out yesterday continue to knock down President Obama’s promises about Obamacare: his “If you like your plan, you can keep it,” and the promise to significantly shrink the ranks of the uninsured.
According to a new study from consulting firm Deloitte, almost one of out of 10 employers said they are going to drop coverage for their employees because of Obamacare, while another 10 percent said they “remain unsure” about what they are going to do. As the vast majority of Americans have health insurance through their workplaces, this is a huge blow.
Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) dealt another blow with its updated outlook on the health care law, as it attempted to integrate the Supreme Court’s ruling into its projections.
Although Obamacare spends more than $1 trillion to get people covered, CBO predicts it will still leave 30 million Americans uninsured, falling far short of what was promised.
CBO’s announcement said that Obamacare could cost less than originally projected—but the reason for the drop was that fewer people will be covered.
Congressional leaders are gleefully reporting that the Congressional Budget Office score of their health care proposal released yesterday shows that their legislation would reduce the federal deficit by $138 billion in the first ten years. Not so fast—consummate professionals though they are, CBO provides a projection based on assumptions about the future conduct of Congress that do not always represent reality.
Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post, not exactly a supporter of the GOP, puts it this way: “…Democrats will be pointing to this preliminary CBO score as if it is engraved on stone tablets. Republicans will proclaim their respect for the CBO and proceed to argue that its estimates should not be taken too seriously in this instance. This may come as a surprise, but I think the Republican argument is closer to correct. To crow, as did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that the package is “a triumph for the American people in terms of deficit reduction” is premature at best, delusional at worst.” (more…)
It takes investment to get sustainable economic growth. We can’t spend our way to growth. We have to save some of the stuff we make today and use it to create new, higher value, tomorrow. If we produce and consume it all, then our economy lives “hand-to-mouth” and we do not grow.
Investing is risky. There is no guarantee that the investment will pay off. Investors weigh many possible scenarios when determining whether or not to make an investment. If the expected return on an investment does not meet an investor’s next best opportunity for his cash, he will forgo that investment.
The expected rate of return compared is the after-tax rate of return. The higher the tax on returns, the more investments will be foregone. So why is Congress trying to discourage investment at a time when the economy desperately needs investment to start growing again?
Because in order to get a deficit neutral score from CBO the legislators needed to find more ways to squeeze revenue from taxpayers. Unfortunately increasing taxes from things that produce economic growth will cause the deficit to increase in a dynamic economy. Slower economic growth will result in fewer jobs and less tax revenue. (more…)
The White House and its congressional allies are trying to suggest that the latest Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate proves that their health-care plan is fiscally responsible.
But, in fact, the latest CBO projections confirm — again — that the President’s health plan would pile more another unfinanced entitlement program on top of the unaffordable ones already on the federal books.
According to CBO, the new entitlement spending in the plan would cost $216 billion by 2019, and then increase by 8 percent every year thereafter. In other words, the President’s plan would stand up another health entitlement program that will grow much faster than the nation’s economy or revenue base. The changes the Democrats would make to the Senate-passed bill would make the entitlement program even more expensive. (more…)
Health Care News
Another day, another no-show for the Obamacare reconciliation bill. House Democrats were quick to shift blame to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) with Rep. Robert Andrews telling The Hill that the delay “has been much more technical than substantive. … It’s not like what tax has to go or what spending has to go.” Which is an interesting claim, since Politico reported that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was summoned to the White House yesterday afternoon “to discuss a higher-than-expected excise tax on some health care plans.” In fact, Politico added: “A labor source said Trumka’s meeting would focus on the entire bill, not just the excise tax question.” Sounds like more than just technical details are still in flux.
But in reality, none of these discussions really matter. The reconciliation bill being drafted is nothing more than thin political cover for House Democrats who believe the Senate bill is terrible public policy but want to please their leadership and the President by voting for it anyway. As we detailed yesterday, there is no bill but the Senate bill. Once the House passes the Senate bill, the President will sign it. Game over. It has been almost three months since the Senate passed their bill in the dead of night on Christmas Eve. A review of just how terrible it really is, is in order:
New Middle-Class Taxes: Throughout his campaign, President Barack Obama promised he would not raise taxes on American households making less than $250,000. The Senate bill shatters that promise. For starters, just look at the reason Trumka went to the White House yesterday: the excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans. This tax would overwhelmingly hit middle-class taxpayers. Taxes on prescription drugs, wheel chairs and other medical devices would also be passed on to all consumers, hitting the lower- and middle- classes the hardest. (more…)
Health Care News
Yesterday at the Blair House health summit, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) directly challenged the White House’s deficit reduction claims. From the transcript:
“Look, we agree on the problem here, and the problem is health inflation is driving us off of a fiscal cliff. Mr. President, you said health care reform is budget reform. You’re right. We agree with that. Medicare right now has a $38 trillion unfunded liability. That’s $38 trillion in empty promises to my parents’ generation, our generation, our kids’ generation. Medicaid is growing at 21 percent this year. It’s suffocating state’s budgets. It’s adding trillions in obligations that we have no means to pay for it.”
“Now, you’re right to frame the debate on cost and health inflation. And in September when you spoke to us in the well of the House, you basically said — and I totally agree with this — ‘I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits either now or in the future.’” (more…)
Health Care News
From Long Island to Philadelphia to Austin, Texas, Democrats returning from Washington to host townhalls are getting an earful from constituents about their concerns over President Barack Obama’s health care plan. Despite the fact that all recent polls show that a majority of Americans do not support Obamacare, the left still has the audacity to claim that the concerned citizens showing up at these events are health insurance industry stooges.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told the Center for America Progress: “These health insurance companies and people like them are trying to load these town hall meetings for visual impact on television.” But when actual journalists have reported on who is showing up at these events, they are telling a different story. Reporting on events in Pennsylvania and Texas, the New York Times describes the protests as “organized by loose-knit coalition of conservative voters and advocacy groups.”
This country deserves a respectful, honest debate about health care. And the hundreds of townhalls Members of Congress will be hosting across the country this August are just the place for that conversation to happen. Here are just five questions Americans should be pressing their elected leaders on over the coming month: (more…)
Tags: abortion, comparative effectiveness research, Congressional Budget Office, deficits, Douglas Elmendorf, Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Health and Human Services, Paul Krugman, Rep. Barney Frank, Rep. Dean Heller, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Patrick Tiberi, Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Tom Coburn, townhall meetings
Health Care News
Members of Congress have been working frantically to bring the cost of the health care bill below $1 trillion, make it “deficit-neutral,” per the President’s instructions, and meet Blue Dogs’ expectations that it be “paid for.” As the Congressional Budget Office has pointed out, so far they’ve had no such luck.
But the bigger problem is that in focusing on $1 trillion, Congress is missing the forest for the trees.
All the estimates they evaluate are 10-year figures, yet nationalized health insurance, if it passes, will likely be around much longer than that. Longer-term estimates must therefore be examined to determine whether future promised benefits will really be paid for.
Turns out, funds are insufficient to the tune of $9.2 trillion, according to the Joint Economic Committee’s 75-year costs estimate of the House bill.
That’s big, but when you add it to the existing unfunded promises–which exceed $45 trillion–that already exist in Social Security and Medicare, the House health bill makes an already unaffordable and unsustainable budget worse. In fact, the unfunded promises of the health bill are bigger than the Social Security shortfall alone.
Without nationalized health care, the amount of money that would be required from every American, today, to close our current fiscal gap equals $184,000. If $9.2 trillion in new debt is added, that figure would exceed $214,000–an additional $30,000 per person.
Unless you can afford to write a $214,000 check to the government today or want to pass the buck onto future generations, you have to ask yourself: Can America really afford national health care right now?
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