By Michael Barone
The legislative process can also be a learning process, and as Congress considers health care legislation -- the latest act being the Senate Finance Committee's vote in favor of Chairman Max Baucus' bill, or "conceptual language" -- we have been learning something useful. It's that legislators would like to provide generous, even gold-plated health insurance coverage to almost all Americans, but that no one wants to pay for it.
The learning process should have started last February, when Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf indicated that the CBO did not back the Obama administration's assertion that preventive care would save money. But it still came as a shock when the CBO confirmed its preliminary finding in its June assessments of the cost of Senate Democrats' bills.
This should have been obvious all along. Early screening can reduce the cost of treating a particular patient. But the costs of early screening add up when you test lots of people who will never need such treatment. So much for "bending the cost curve" down by preventive care.
Then House committees passed a bill financed in part by a "millionaire's tax." But freshman Jared Polis of Colorado, a successful entrepreneur, and 20 other House Democrats came out against that, on the reasonable theory that a tax on high-earners is a job-killer in today's economy. And tax increases on high-earners, thanks to creative accountants, never net as much revenue as static analysts like the CBO predict.
Baucus' bill would impose $829 billion in added costs, financed by a variety of taxes and spending cuts that are just as dubious. One is a tax on so-called Cadillac health insurance plans. But unions that have negotiated such plans are opposed, and House Democratic leaders are uninterested. Another is a tax on makers of medical devices that will be paid for by consumers. Critics have pointed out that most of these taxes will fall on people with ordinary incomes, far below the $250,000-plus moguls that Barack Obama said would bear all his tax increases... Read the whole article.
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- ► 2010 (54)
- Vatican Clarification on Delay of Anglican Provisi...
- Attacks on traditional Anglicans prove pope's poin...
- Finding a Catholic home
- Foul Ball!
- Top Catholic bishops demand apology from Rep. Kenn...
- Dissident theologian criticizes pope’s opening to ...
- Developing nation Anglicans decline pope's offer
- A Resilient Baghdad on a Day of Horror
- Benedict’s Gambit
- Obama a tough guy, at least with Fox News
- What the Vatican's welcome of Anglicans means
- America’s Obama Obsession
- The Anglicans and the Eastern churches
- Vatican decision to receive Anglicans prompts US, ...
- Catholicism and Anglicanism: the end of an era
- I shall send you the Paraclete, who will lead you ...
- A Bridge Across the Tiber
- The Pope's bold invitation to Anglicans
- Vatican creates new structure for Anglicans
- Is there a Historic Anglican - Vatican Announcemen...
- The Power of the Plaintiffs’ Bar
- Taking Obamacare Off the Books
- The lucrative business of racism
- Subverting Democracy
- Treating the Elderly Like Spoiled Brats
- The danger of Obama's dithering
- Belmont Abbey College: Preparing to Fight
- The Nobel-Hollywood Complex Implodes
- A Tale of Two Soundbites
- 'Reform' No One Wants to Pay For
- The Vote Democrats Don't Want
- Obama’s Theorems
- The Boys Who Cry Racism
- It’s Not Political, It’s Personal
- Why Catholics Should Take a Position on the Hate-C...
- The Obama Fiasco
- Could a Wave Be Building?
- The Baucus Bill Is a Tax Bill
- "Personally Opposed, But..." Five Pro-Abortion Dod...
- How to take down a great power
- Relics of St Therese of Lisieux arrive at Westmins...
- Twits, Twitter, and Tweets
- God vs. Science Isn't the Issue
- The 'youngest headmaster in the world'
- Obama's Job-Killing Agenda
- 'Conceptual Language' Hides Health Care's Costs
- How to Sell a War: First, Start to Win
- Another Fine Mess: Comics Whack Obama
- A Vain President, or a Weak One?
- Note To Catholic Bishops: Obamanomics Is Evil, Too...
- Our Crybaby Culture
- What I Heard in Honduras
- The Nobel Hope Prize
- A Fitting Prize, in a Way
- What If . . .
- Bioethics, Health Care, and Catholic Teaching
- Max's Adventures in Wonderland
- Young Hamlet's Agony
- Absurd decision on Obama makes a mockery of the No...
- States of Personal Privilege
- Stimulus scam
- I'm the laziest man on Earth.
- Romney Reboots
- What's the Rush?
- Remembering Lepanto
- The New Catholic Manliness
- Same Old Obamacare
- Those White Coats In The Rose Garden
- Obama and the General
- The Obama Snap-Back
- Deployments and Diplomacy
- Barack Obama cancels meeting with Dalai Lama 'to k...
- Corporate Welfare for Mickey Mouse
- Reconciliation Looms Large As Debate Continues
- The Conservative Case for Reform
- Half a president
- Bad Options on Iran
- Support for Abortion Slips
- Clunkers in Practice
- Queen 'appalled' at Church of England moves, claim...
- The Obamas Violated First Three Rules of Selling
- How to Talk to an Atheist about Christianity
- Pope welcomes new US ambassador, prods on right to...
- President is AWOL as our commander
- Now will Congress investigate ACORN?
- Update: directives on Medjugorje
- This Mission Is Not McChrystal Clear
- Détente and the Bunker
- The Young and the Jobless
- Food Fight: An Unappetizing Development
- Obama’s French Lesson
- Obama’s Olympic failure will only add to doubts ab...
- Benedict’s trip to Britain: new details emerge
- The Obsolescence of a Slur
- Losing Faith in the Commander in Chief
- Palin: ‘Keep on honking; I’m reloading’
- Rotten in Denmark
- Three Dangerous Stooges
- The Limits of Reinvention
- ▼ October 2009 (102)
- Fr. Christopher George Phillips
- Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.