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Friday, July 17, 2009

Congressional Budget Office- Federal Budget On 'Unsustainable Path'

The Congressional Budget Office, on the Director's Blog has some nifty graphs and explanations showing why our federal budget is on this unsustainable path, but their bottom line is what caught my eye:

The current recession and policy responses have little effect on long-term projections of noninterest spending and revenues. But CBO estimates that in fiscal years 2009 and 2010, the federal government will record its largest budget deficits as a share of GDP since shortly after World War II. As a result of those deficits, federal debt held by the public will soar from 41 percent of GDP at the end of fiscal year 2008 to 60 percent at the end of fiscal year 2010. This higher debt results in permanently higher spending to pay interest on that debt. Federal interest payments already amount to more than 1 percent of GDP; unless current law changes, that share would rise to 2.5 percent by 2020.

You can see the long term outlook from the Congressional Budget Office, via a 24 page PDF file, right here.

Medicare, Medicaid and social security seem to be the most costly and will continue to cost more and more, and Obama and crew now want to add a public healthcare option that would make these numbers look like pocket change in comparison.

Measured relative to GDP, almost all of the projected growth in federal spending other than interest payments on the debt stems from the three largest entitlement programs—Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. For decades, spending on Medicare and Medicaid has been growing faster than the economy. CBO projects that if current laws do not change, federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid combined will grow from roughly 5 percent of GDP today to almost 10 percent by 2035. By 2080, the government would be spending almost as much, as a share of the economy, on just its two major health care programs as it has spent on all of its programs and services in recent years.

Federal Debt Held by the Public Under CBO’s Long-Term Budget Scenarios (Percentage of GDP)

Now imagine how much worse the graphs and projections would be if we had another, third, major healthcare aka Obamacare added into these figures.

This is why Barack Obama has been publicly pushing the Democratically controlled House and Senate to jam his healthcare bill through as fast as possible, with an arbitrary time line, insisting they get it passed before their break. Obama wanted it passed before the public got a good look at these figures.

Obama and the Democrats have been spending like drunken sailors, borrowing more and more on top of what these programs are costing us and instead of trying to fix the problems already before us from Medicare and Medicaid, which are both forms of government healthcare already that are proving to be unsustainable, they want to add yet another unsustainable program to the list.

Here is how the Obama administration is trying to spin this, via Joe Biden, king of gaffes and this might just be his largest gaffe to date:

Vice President Joe Biden told people attending an AARP town hall meeting that unless the Democrat-supported health care plan becomes law the nation will go bankrupt and that the only way to avoid that fate is for the government to spend more money.

“And folks look, AARP knows and the people with me here today know, the president knows, and I know, that the status quo is simply not acceptable,” Biden said at the event on Thursday in Alexandria, Va. “It’s totally unacceptable. And it’s completely unsustainable. Even if we wanted to keep it the way we have it now. It can’t do it financially.”

“We’re going to go bankrupt as a nation,” Biden said.

“Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’” Biden said. “The answer is yes, that's what I’m telling you.”

Anyone else simply shaking their head in amazement at the stupidity inherent in that bolded quote?

Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, spoke to the Senate Budget Committee about current proposed legislation, specifically, Obamacare.

Congress's chief budget scorekeeper cast a new cloud over Democratic efforts to overhaul the nation's health-care system, telling lawmakers Thursday that the main proposals being considered would fail to contain costs -- one of the primary goals -- and could actually worsen the problem of rapidly escalating medical spending.

"We do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount," Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, told the Senate Budget Committee. "On the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health-care costs," he added.

It is really quite simple and the simplicity of it keeps getting clouded by the Obama administrations doublespeak to keep people from realizing what government run healthcare would do to this country.

Simply put..... if medicare and medicaid are unsustainable and bankrupting our country, adding the rest of the country on the same type of program would make the problem that much larger.

They can spin it any way they like, but basic math doesn't change, one plus one is always two.

Before the CBO released their findings, Republican Senator, Olympia Snowe, emerged from a meeting with Obama stating that they "shouldn’t be restrained by an artificially compressed timeline," and noted that the Senate Finance Committee had yet to get the numbers from the CBO.

Those numbers and projections are now out, and our reps need to take a good hard look at them and act accordingly by killing Obama's brand of so-called health reform aka socialized medicine.

If they want reform, then reform the existing system without adding the whole country to a system, such as medicare and medicaid, that is already proven to be unsustainable.

As a side note, Obama is also still trying to claim that under his new plan, you would have a choice in your care, your insurance and your doctors.

“Let me be exactly clear about what health care reform means to you,” the president told residents of the Garden State. “First of all, if you’ve got health insurance, you like your doctors, you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you.”

But last month, as the president acknowledged during a press conference, he doesn’t literally mean that you are guaranteed to be able to keep your health care plan, and your doctor, if and when health care reform passes.

“When I say ‘If you have your plan and you like it,… or you have a doctor and you like your doctor, that you don't have to change plans,’” the president said after we asked him about this, “what I'm saying is the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform.”

An outright, bald-faced lie, yet again, as noted earlier this week, from page 16 of the plan in question:

"Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill states:

"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.

As I said in the previous piece:

With unemployment officially heading toward 10 percent and in many states this number is much higher, almost anyone could lose their job and insurance and would be forced... forced into the public plan and forbidden from going back to a private insurer.

As the IBDeditorial article states "The public option won't be an option for many, but rather a mandate for buying government care. A free people should be outraged at this advance of soft tyranny."

Yes, we should.

Here is some more information on what is in that massive health reform bill, via New York Post:

Two main bills are being rushed through Congress with the goal of combining them into a finished product by August. Under either, a new government bureaucracy will select health plans that it considers in your best interest, and you will have to enroll in one of these "qualified plans." If you now get your plan through work, your employer has a five-year "grace period" to switch you into a qualified plan. If you buy your own insurance, you'll have less time.

And as soon as anything changes in your contract -- such as a change in copays or deductibles, which many insurers change every year -- you'll have to move into a qualified plan instead (House bill, p. 16-17).

When you file your taxes, if you can't prove to the IRS that you are in a qualified plan, you'll be fined thousands of dollars -- as much as the average cost of a health plan for your family size -- and then automatically enrolled in a randomly selected plan (House bill, p. 167-168).

It's one thing to require that people getting government assistance tolerate managed care, but the legislation limits you to a managed-care plan even if you and your employer are footing the bill (Senate bill, p. 57-58). The goal is to reduce everyone's consumption of health care and to ensure that people have the same health-care experience, regardless of ability to pay.

Nowhere does the legislation say how much health plans will cost, but a family of four is eligible for some government assistance until their household income reaches $88,000 (House bill, p. 137). If you earn more than that, you'll have to pay the cost no matter how high it goes.

Read the rest
, especially the part about mandatory counseling session every five years for seniors to discuss "alternatives for end-of-life care." (House bill, p. 425-430).

I suggest everyone actually read the bill, especially our representatives and Senators.

Then, kill it, scrap it, trash it, refuse to pass something that will not only bankrupt us, but will take our choice away from us completely.