ALG Urges Senate Finance Committee to Vote Against "$2 trillion Dollar Health Takeover," Calls CBO Estimate "Grossly Understated"

“The Senate Finance Committee must not fool itself with rosy, low-ball estimates. 

The true cost of expanding coverage to tens of millions of Americans, increasing

taxes, and offering substandard care for seniors will be devastating.  They must

reject this abomination.”—ALG President Bill Wilson.

 

October 8th, 2009, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today again called upon the Senate Finance Committee to reject the finalized version of its bill, calling the measure a "$2 trillion health takeover that will limit private options, raise taxes, reduce the quality of health care, and inevitably add to the debt."

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office released its cost-estimate of the Baucus-led bill on the Senate side.  By 2019, CBO estimates, 29 million more people will be covered with taxpayer-subsidized care.  It estimates the final cost will be $829 billion over 10 years.

Wilson said the cost is misleading.  "But for some reason, CBO estimates that the total cost per individual per year will only be about $2,858," said Wilson, adding that "The trouble with that figure is it is a whole lot less than the average cost for a premium in the United States, which is currently $4,700." 

"Which can only mean one of two things.  Either, under ObamaCare there will be below-average, watered-down care provided, or the cost estimates are wildly understated and this program will not sustain itself.  ALG leans toward the latter," Wilson declared.  "Either way, why should the American people accept a declining quality of care and spiraling deficits all to provide 'health care for all.'"

"What's worse, the CBO estimates that a government program in which 91.5 million people under the age of 65 are technically eligible for will only result in 29 million new enrollees," Wilson said.  "That just does not pass the smell test."

According to the CBO letter to Senator Max Baucus, taxpayers would subsidize care for those making 400 percent above the poverty level, or individuals who make $43,320 a year or less.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, that includes 91.5 million people under the age of 65, or 125.8 million in total.  Currently, 80.5 million now receive their health care from the government.

"So, in total, one should reasonably expect that, eventually, government-run health care will expand to cover about 45 million more individuals, or 125.8 million in total," Wilson explained, saying that once fully implemented would cost an additional $2.1 trillion over ten-year intervals. 

"The apparent cuts to Medicare and Medicaid of approximately $404 billion, and the tax increases of $406 billion, that the bill proposes over ten years will not even come close to paying for it," Wilson said.

"Plus, the bill will do nothing to actually contain the costs of medical treatment, equipment, and keeping doctor's offices and hospitals open," said Wilson.  "In other words, the average cost of health care per individual in the U.S. will still go up."

Wilson concluded, "The Senate Finance Committee must not fool itself with rosy, low-ball estimates.  The true cost of expanding coverage to tens of millions of Americans, increasing taxes, and offering substandard care for seniors will be devastating.  They must reject this abomination."