Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On Phantom Numbers

So Sen Reid has (finally) deigned to share with his Senate colleagues his phantasmagorical health care "reform" package.

O frabjous day!

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this all-in-one solution will cost a mere $849 billion, while allegedly reducing the federal deficit by some "$127 billion over the next ten years."

I understand that it slices and dices, as well.

To put that purported $127 billion in perspective: it represents, over 10 years, less than last month's deficit alone.

That bears repeating: if (and that's a big if) it really meets expectations, Sen Reid's baby will cut, over 10 years, the equivalent of one month's deficit. Color me underwhelmed.

It does this, by the way, by drastically cutting Medicare expenses to seniors, to the tune of half a trillion dollars. If, in fact, it cuts them at all.


Since 1997, there have been regularly scheduled Medicare reimbursement "adjustments" (i.e. decreases), every one of which has been deferred. That is, there have been no actual cuts to Medicare reimbursement schedules. Now we're to believe that, willy nilly, after 12 years of non-activity the gummint is suddenly going to get serious about cutting providers' Medicare reimbursements?

Perhaps I can interest you in a bridge, as well.

Absent these cuts (on which the CBO "scoring" is predicated), there are no savings, only additional expenditures. Of course, with these cuts, Seniors will "enjoy" a double whammy: being thrown under the bus, and drastically reduced medical services when they hit the ER (and beyond).

Regardless, The Gang That Couldn't Count Straight© has some credibility issues when it comes to these massive expenditures to solve economic problems. Here's another 1,000 words to illustrate:

[Chart Courtesy Innocent Bystanders]

[Hat Tip: Ace of Spades]
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