'The Worst Bill Ever'
Not that we didn't know this, but the Wall Street Journal, in a devastating editorial, lays out the clearest, most logical case against Nancy Pelosi's health care reform bill to date.
You really should read the whole thing, but this kind of clarity must be highlighted:
In a rational political world, this 1,990-page runaway train would have been derailed months ago. With spending and debt already at record peacetime levels, the bill creates a new and probably unrepealable middle-class entitlement that is designed to expand over time. Taxes will need to rise precipitously, even as ObamaCare so dramatically expands government control of health care that eventually all medicine will be rationed via politics.
Yet at this point, Democrats have dumped any pretense of genuine bipartisan "reform" and moved into the realm of pure power politics as they race against the unpopularity of their own agenda. The goal is to ram through whatever income-redistribution scheme they can claim to be "universal coverage." The result will be destructive on every level-for the health-care system, for the country's fiscal condition, and ultimately for American freedom and prosperity.
As for specifics, there's plenty to chew on:
• Expanding Medicaid, gutting private Medicare. All this is particularly reckless given the unfunded liabilities of Medicare-now north of $37 trillion over 75 years. Mrs. Pelosi wants to steal $426 billion from future Medicare spending to "pay for" universal coverage. While Medicare's price controls on doctors and hospitals are certain to be tightened, the only cut that is a sure thing in practice is gutting Medicare Advantage to the tune of $170 billion. Democrats loathe this program because it gives one of out five seniors private insurance options.
As for Medicaid, the House will expand eligibility to everyone below 150% of the poverty level, meaning that some 15 million new people will be added to the rolls as private insurance gets crowded out at a cost of $425 billion. A decade from now more than a quarter of the population will be on a program originally intended for poor women, children and the disabled.
Even though the House will assume 91% of the "matching rate" for this joint state-federal program-up from today's 57%-governors would still be forced to take on $34 billion in new burdens when budgets from Albany to Sacramento are in fiscal collapse. Washington's budget will collapse too, if anything like the House bill passes.
Madness. It's as if some radical social disease has overtaken Democrats and is now in control. Health care reform now has a life all its own and has detached itself from the reality of the budget, of future debt burdens, and from America itself. Nothing matters except its passage. It's existence is due solely to the need to give the president a political victory.
In this atmosphere, what's in the bill matters little. Everything is a means to an end. And that "end" is simply to prevent this president from suffering a political defeat.
So, we will probably get national health insurance. The Democrats have the numbers to pass it - although it is still possible it will pass in much reduced form. But regardless, once this entitlement is on the books, Democrats will add to it year after year, stealthily making federal control of all health care a reality.
It's the camel's nose in the tent. And once passed, in whatever form, America will never be the same.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky