James Pethokoukis

Stealing from Social Security to pay for healthcare reform

October 20, 2009

Does BaucusCare raid Social Security to pay for healthcare reform? Sure seems like, according to Andrew Biggs of AEI:

Healthcare math doesn’t work

October 20, 2009

Ed Yardeni runs the numbers:

Nominal GDP rose at a compounded rate of 4.2% from 1999-2009. It isn’t likely to grow any faster over the next 10-20 years. However, extrapolating the same growth rate of per capita retirement spending (5.1%) and adding the higher projected growth of the senior population (3.0%) suggests that social welfare outlays might grow by 8%. That’s significantly higher than the likely growth of nominal GDP (say 5%). Since the tax base can’t grow faster than nominal GDP on a sustainable basis, something has to give on the per capita spending side.

Healthcare reform effort stumbles over spending and taxes

October 16, 2009

The great Dan Clifton of Strategas Group nails the difficulties of paying for reform through spending cuts or tax hikes:

3 myths about ObamaCare, the Baucus bill and healthcare reform

October 16, 2009

I just wanted to highlight some items from a previous post on healthcare reform:

1) It costs $829 billion.

It accomplishes this financial feat, however, through budgetary trickery. The plan includes a start year of 2010, even though no money is spent that year and just $14 billion through 2013. Cost the plan out from 2011 through 2020 and it suddenly morphs into a trillion-dollar plan. Indeed, the average annual cost from 2015 through 2019 is $150 billion a year

Actually, you don’t have to raise taxes to pay for healthcare

October 15, 2009

Great piece of analysis from the Tax Foundation:

A new analysis by us finds that over a 20-year period, the health care bill written by Sen. Baucus and passed Tuesday by the Senate Finance Committee includes enough spending cuts in Medicare and other current government health programs to reduce the budget deficit over the long term, even without a proposed excise tax on “Cadillac” health plans.

Would Obama’s new regulator ban ObamaCare?

October 15, 2009

Would the Baucus healthcare reform plan pass muster with the Consumer Financial Protection Agency? That’s the new regulator the Obama White House wants to create to protect Americans from deceptive or confusing mortgages, loans and credit card agreements that contain hidden fees, costs, rates or other time bombs potentially harmful to one’s financial health.

Study: Democratic healthcare reform could increase costs

October 12, 2009

America’s Health Insurance Plans, an insurance industry trade group, paid for this PricewaterhouseCoopers study that found Democratic healthcare reform would sharply raise the price of private healthcare insurance. The typical premium could rise by $4,000 by 2019. Here is the executive summary:

A windfall profits tax? Why won’t the 1970s stay dead?

October 9, 2009

Apparently there is no idea bad enough that it can’t be resurrected by desperate politicians, as veteran Capitol Hill watcher Pete Davis notes at the must-read Capital Gains and Games blog:

Why the cost of healthcare reform will rise

October 8, 2009

A great analysis of the Baucus healthcare bill by Jim Capretta. Read the whole thing, but this is a key graph:

CBO: Baucus healthcare bill saves $81 billion over ten years

October 7, 2009

From the Congressional Budget Office:

According to CBO and JCT’s assessment, enacting the Chairman’s mark, as amended, would result in a net reduction in federal budget deficits of $81 billion over the 2010–2019 period. The estimate includes a projected net cost of $518 billion over 10 years for the proposed expansions in insurance coverage. That net cost itself reflects a gross total of $829 billion in credits and subsidies provided through the exchanges, increased net outlays for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and tax credits for small employers; those costs are partly offset by $201 billion in revenues from the excise tax on high-premium insurance plans and $110 billion in net savings from other sources. The net cost of the coverage expansions would be more than offset by the combination of other spending changes that CBO estimates would save $404 billion over the 10 years and other provisions that JCT and CBO estimate would increase federal revenues by $196 billion over the same period. In subsequent years, the collective effect of those provisions would probably be continued reductions in federal budget deficits. Those estimates are all subject to substantial uncertainty.