Via the NY Post:
As others have noted, Baucus used all manner of budgetary gimmicks to oblige the CBO to give him the headlines he needed -- a supposed pricetag of "just" $829 billion over 10 years, with enough other spending cuts and tax hikes to avoid adding to the federal deficit. But the CBO exposed the truth by taking the rare step of calculating what the bill would cost in its second 10 years...
Baucus' most elementary trick was to have the bill's "first 10 years" include several years when it hadn't really kicked in. It was scored for 2010 to 2019, yet it wouldn't be in full swing until 2015 -- when its costs would exceed those of its first five years combined.
In fact, the bill wouldn't cost anything in 2010. In its real first decade (2011-20), it would cost more than $1 trillion..
Also, Baucus' savings are highly suspect. As the CBO notes, his bill would cut Medicare payments to doctors by 25 percent in 2011, then hold them at that level perpetually. In other words, given inflation, Baucus proposes endless cuts in what the program pays physicians and others.
Assuming 3 percent annual inflation, by 2014 doctors' real incomes from Medicare payments would be cut by a third from 2010. By 2025, they'd be cut in half.
And when you fail to reimburse adequately for something, you get less of it. Tell me, who will spend the 8 to 15 extra years of training to be a doctor? Will there be enough of them?
I had an interesting conversation yesterday as I was getting my car inspected. The proprietor of the auto shop is a former patient of mine, very happy after his shoulder surgery. He is adamantly opposed to ObamaCare, and expressed it as follows.
"Hey, my roots are in Canada, and I've got a lot of relatives still there. Some of them died waiting for proper care."
Oh, sure, right. ObamaCare isn't single payor. Absolutely. Get ready, America. It's coming.
10/14/09 1145: Via James Taranto:
Yet another dispatch from the Liverpool Care Pathway, from London's Daily Mail:A grandfather who beat cancer was wrongly told the disease had returned and left to die at a hospice which pioneered a controversial "death pathway."Doctors said there was nothing more they could do for 76-year-old Jack Jones, and his family claim he was denied food, water and medication except painkillers.He died within two weeks. But tests after his death found that his cancer had not come back and he was in fact suffering from pneumonia brought on by a chest infection.
To his family's horror, they were told he could have recovered if he'd been given the correct treatment.
Well, that really is a "Death Pathway." Bear that in mind as you read this:
"Thank you. And by the way, we're going to have to, if you're very old, we're not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It's too expensive...so we're going to let you die. (emphasis at NewsBusters)
It's all part of the plan, isn't it?