Chart via Doug Ross
Here, via Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Trib, is the President’s official schedule for April 27, 2010.
In the morning, the President will greet members of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in the Roosevelt Room. There will be a still photographer pool spray at the top of the greet. Following the greet, the President will deliver remarks in the Rose Garden, thanking the members of the Commission for their important service and underscore the importance of forging bipartisan consensus around recommendations to meaningfully improve our long-run fiscal health. The remarks are open press. The President will embark on another leg of the White House to Main Street tour with stops in Iowa. In the early afternoon, he will tour the Siemens Wind Turbine Blade Manufacturing Plant in Fort Madison. There will be travel pool coverage of the tour. The President will then deliver remarks and share ideas with workers for continuing to grow the economy and to put Americans back to work. This event is open press.
I feel so much better, now, don’t you? Obama is going to deliver remarks on fiscal responsibility, and have his picture taken after the greet. This must mean he’s finally serious about reining in government spending!
And then on to Iowa for what? Has he pivoted entirely to jobs, or will he continue to talk up the ever popular health care legislation?
Is he done with his “aggressive White House public relations blitz to sell his newly signed health care overhaul to a skeptical and sometimes confused public”…
‘Cause I’m confused. I just heard that the White House sat on a damning HHS economic report about the health care bill until a month after it passed.
The economic report released last week by Health and Human Services, which indicated that President Barack Obama’s health care “reform” law would actually increase the cost of health care and impose higher costs on consumers, had been submitted to the office of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius more than a week before the Congressional votes on the bill, according to career HHS sources, who added that Sebelius’s staff refused to review the document before the vote was taken.
“The reason we were given was that they did not want to influence the vote,” says an HHS source. “Which is actually the point of having a review like this, you would think.”
The analysis, performed by Medicare’s Office of the Actuary, which in the past has been identified as a “nonpolitical” office, set off alarm bells when submitted. “We know a copy was sent to the White House via their legislative affairs staff,” says the HHS staffer, “and there were a number of meetings here almost right after the analysis was submitted to the secretary’s office. Everyone went into lockdown, and people here were too scared to go public with the report.”
That’s just the latest of a series of embarrassing revelations that have come out since the passage of the bill.
Failure to ensure immediate coverage for kids with pre-existing conditions—something Obamacare supporters had constantly promised was part of the bill.Looking to provide cover for those who wrote the bill, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius fired off a warning letter to insurers. “Health insurance is designed to prevent any child from being denied coverage because he or she has a pre-existing condition,” she scolded.
And the most the fiscally irresponsible, until now:
According to The Hill: “Taxpayers earning less than $200,000 a year will pay roughly $3.9 billion more in taxes – in 2019 alone – because of healthcare reform, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’ official scorekeeper for legislation. The new law raises $15.2 billion over 10 years by limiting the medical expense deduction, a provision widely used by taxpayers who either have a serious illness or are older.”
Since passage, several companies have announced that the health care bill will cost them billions of dollars; the Congressional Research Service confirmed Republican warnings that the bill allows convicted sex offenders, including pedophiles and rapists, to receive taxpayer-subsidized medication for erectile dysfunction; and it was discovered that the law will not prevent large increases in insurance premiums.
Then there’s Peter Orszag’s admission that there will be rationing (death) panels with ObamaCare, after all.
And now this news that the HHS sat on an economically damning report rather than release it to the public because why? They were running out of bribes to buy blue dog votes? It was clear they didn’t give a damn what the public thought before the cram through.
Will Obama dare the Republicans to “run on a platform of repeal”, again, today? Because that would be rich.
Ed Morrissey updates the HHS economic report story:
Yid with Lid tips me that the director of the CMS, Richard Forster, has denied this report, according to Fox News.
But how can that be? Obama specifically said otherwise….
Dan Riehl: Obama’s Bold-faced Lie On Finance Reform
Via email – Heritage Foundation: It’s Official — Higher Health Care Costs:
Recently, the actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that runs the giant entitlement programs, released its analysis of the new health care law. The AP reports that “White House officials have repeatedly complained that such analyses have been too pessimistic and lowball the law’s potential to achieve savings,” but the official CMS analysis reinforces several of Heritage’s predictions regarding Obamacare.
Some highlights of the CMS report:
— Mandates Without Impact. Writes CMS, “For many individuals, the penalty amounts for not having insurance coverage were not sufficiently large to have a sizable impact on the coverage decision” (p. 7). Concerning employers, “the penalties would not be a substantial deterrent to dropping or forgoing coverage” (p. 7). So these provisions will do little to achieve their purpose (i.e., to encourage individuals to carry coverage and employers to offer it).
— If You Like it, You May Still Lose It: CMS reports that about 14 million Americans will end up losing their current employer-sponsored coverage. Though many will instead receive coverage in the exchange, this shows that instead of encouraging employers to offer coverage, new law creates incentives to dump the responsibility of their employees’ health care onto taxpayers.
— Increase Medicare Solvency? Don’t [Double] Count on It. Estimated savings for Medicare Part A would be substantial enough to extend the program’s solvency to 2029 — under prior law, funds would be exhausted by 2017. However, CMS writes, “In practice, the improved HI financing cannot be simultaneously used to finance other Federal outlays (such as the coverage expansions) and to extend the trust fund…” (p. 9). Savings from Medicare will fund newly created programs — not reduce the program’s future unfunded liabilities.
— Medicare Savings (If They Occur) Mean Bad News for Seniors. Medicare hospital payments will grow at a slower rate than the cost of providing services, such that “… providers for whom Medicare constitutes a substantive portion of their business could find it difficult to remain profitable and, absent legislative intervention [think “doc fix”], might end their participation in the program (possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries)” (p. 10). As far as changes for Medicare Advantage enrollees, CMS reports that “new provisions will generally reduce MA rebates to plans and thereby result in less generous benefit packages … in 2017 … enrollment in MA plans will be lower by about 50 percent …” (p. 11).
— New Federal Programs Born to Be Bailed Out. The CLASS Program will offer long-term care insurance, but enrollees will pay premiums (which are, by the way, counted as an offset to the overall cost of the bill) for five years before benefits are attainable. This program is doomed from the get-go: CMS reports that “… voluntary, unsubsidized, and non-underwritten insurance programs such as CLASS face a significant risk of failure as a result of adverse selection by participants … there is a very serious risk that the problem of adverse selection will make the CLASS program unsustainable” (p. 15).
— Bending the Spending Curve UP? CMS reports that under new law, overall national health expenditures will increase by $311 billion. This is the net result of increases in coverage and decreased spending from reductions to Medicare and due to the excise tax on Cadillac insurance plans. Expect this figure to rise if Congress indefinitely postpones unsustainable Medicare cuts (again, think “doc fix”) and yields to political pressure to ax the Cadillac tax, both of which will likely happen. Comparative Effectiveness may have a small effect on reducing the growth of health care costs, but, writes CMS, “We show a negligible financial impact over the next 10 years for the other provisions intended to help control future health care cost growth” (p. 13).
Bottom Line: A health care law that will be costly to taxpayers, burden businesses, and create more problems than it solves. Follow the side effects of Obamacare here.