Down the rabbit hole with 'honest budgeting'
You have to give the Democrats credit. When confronted with the truth about them trying to buy the American Medical Association vote on health care by canceling planned cuts in payments to doctors treating Medicare patients and not including the extra costs in their reform bills, they simply switch gears and lie in the most breathtaking fashion.
As we wrote previously , the Democrats met with the AMA last week and promised not to cut Medicare payments to doctors, as would have been required by law. This cut is figured in to the "savings" we will realize from the health care reform bills moving through Congress.
But Reid plans on bringing a bill to the floor to restore those cuts independent of any reform effort. Thus, $250 billion will actually be added to the deficit while Obama can continue to claim that the health care reform bills will not "add one dime" to the deficit.
The Democrats call this (wait for it)..."Honest Budgeting."
Dana Milbank in the Washington Post:
The sponsor of the doc fix, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), seemed unconcerned that the fix had put the party in one. "It really is about honest budgeting," she said at a news conference Tuesday morning. On one side of her stood the AMA president. On the other side was a poster framed by a flag. One of its bullet points: "Honest budgeting."
Honestly? A decade ago, Congress passed legislation designed to limit health-care costs by slowing the growth of Medicare payments to doctors. Each year, Congress passes a "patch" to prevent the cuts from taking effect. Stabenow proposed to make this system "honest" by eliminating the cuts permanently.
Medicare is hurtling toward insolvency, but Stabenow would essentially repeal past cost-cutting efforts. And even granting that it's a good idea not to cut Medicare payments to doctors, it's a strange interpretation of honesty to separate this $250 billion cost from the health-care bill and then claim that the other bill doesn't raise the deficit.
There are a lot of bogus comparisons to Orwell's "1984." This isn't one of them. Doublespeak is truly with us today.
When is dishonest budgeting "honest budgeting?" When Obama and the Democrats say so.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky