The Devil Is In The Details

You just can’t believe what you hear from the Obama propaganda machine mainstream media about ObamaKennedyDeathCare. For example, from Gateway Pundit, we see this headline:


The thing is…here’s what the poll data actually says (but that’s buried in the middle):

47% of Americans oppose Obamacare and only 40% approve of Obamacare in the poll.

Hot Air digs into the guts of another similar poll and finds more misdirection, though probably not intentional:

Pew Research surveyed 1500 adults last week and found that 47% oppose the efforts to overhaul the American health-care system, while only 34% approve. That sample included a 11-point split favoring Democrats over Republicans, 34%-23%, with 37% independents:

Regarding health care reform, many of the key provisions remain popular though support for the overall package has slipped. More people now generally oppose the health care reform proposals in Congress (47%) than favor them (34%). This represents a decline in support for health care reform since mid-September, shortly after President Obama’s nationally televised address to Congress on the issue.

The split outstrips what Gallup found in a survey conducted among 5000 adults at about the same time:

In the third quarter of this year, 48% of Americans identified politically as Democrats or said they were independent but leaned to the Democratic Party. At the same time, 42% identified as Republicans or as independents who leaned Republican. That six-point spread in leaned party affiliation is the smallest Gallup has measured since 2005.

Even with almost double the partisan split found by Gallup (and confirmed by Rasmussen), ObamaCare gets rejected by a wide margin. Remember also that the Pew poll surveyed adults, not registered voters or likely voters, which produces a skew towards liberal policies and candidates. In the same poll, Obama gets a 52% approval rating, which tends to argue against a conservative skew in the survey — and point out big trouble for Congress if they push through anything resembling the proposals seen in the House and Senate so far.

The point is, you simply can’t trust the mainstream to report the truth anymore. Even when they manage to include the facts, the truth is still obscured or distorted. The simple fact is that they are so in the tank for Obama that they aren’t reliable anymore.

Democrat leadership is also considering a ‘windfall profits‘ tax on insurance companies. Pay no mind, though, because those insurance companies will almost certainly eat the cost of that tax rather than passing it on to you, the consumer. No, really, they will. The Democrats promise they will. And, besides, they’ll all go out of business before too long, anyway.

House Minority Leader John Boehner had some words to say about the Dems’ underhanded plans to sneak ObamaKennedyDeathCare into law over the objection of most of the country:

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio) today expressed outrage after learning that Senate Democratic leaders made more than 70 substantive changes to the text of a health care bill after the legislation was voted on and passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee.

In a statement, Boehner condemned the practice of adding such “phantom amendments” to bills, and announced that Republicans will introduce a resolution that would change House rules to require committees to post the actual text of adopted bills and amendments online within 24 hours to prevent similar acts of deception.

“The American people are fed up with the way in which Congress does business. Whether it’s passing massive spending bills no one in America has read, or making secret changes to bills after they’ve already been passed by committees, ‘business as usual’ in Congress needs to end,” Boehner said. “The American people deserve a Congress that is transparent and accountable to the people it serves. The practice of secretly adding ‘phantom amendments’ to major bills after they pass committee is outrageous, and it should be banned. Americans should be allowed to read the text of all bills online within 24 hours after they are approved by congressional committees.”

The biggest news of the day is a wealth of deeper analysis on the CBO’s scoring of the Baucus version of ObamaKennedyDeathCare. I think the best single reporting of what’s going on here can be found at Heritage:

Looking beyond the media hype, taxpayers should remember a few crucial facts about the recent CBO/JCT analysis of the Finance Committee’s provisions for the America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009. As former CBO Director Donald Marron has pointed out, there is more to CBO’s analysis than short term budget estimates.

  • The analysis is preliminary. As the letter points out, the analysis is still not based on legislative language. Moreover, Senate Leaders have to merge the bill with the HELP Committee bill before the bill comes to the floor. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the current analysis will be relevant to the debate much past the upcoming Finance Committee vote.
  • Cost. The projected $829 billion ten year cost is no guarantee of anything. Virtually all cost estimates of government programs underestimate the true cost. Take for example Medicare. In 1965, it was projected to cost $12 billion in 1990, but its actual cost in 1990 was over $100 billion. Just recently, the SCHIP program with a fixed 10 year budget of $40 billion was reauthorized for five years at a new price tag of close to $70 billion. A long term cost projection is a missing, but important component to understanding the true cost of a proposal.
  • Taxes. The proposed offsets in the bill fall in two categories – taxes and cuts. On the tax side, CBO estimates $4 billion will be raised by imposing a tax on individuals who don’t buy government qualified coverage. $23 billion will be raised by imposing a tax on employers who don’t offer government qualified coverage, a cost that will be borne by workers in lower wages and fewer jobs. Over $200 billion is raised by adopting a new tax on health insurance plans. While this tax sounds like it will hit insurers, the reality is taxes on goods will ultimately be passed on the consumers. Hiding new taxes through fees and penalties don’t fool anyone.
  • Cuts. The Finance proposal also depends heavily on Medicare to fund its new entitlement program. Besides cuts to Medicare Advantage plans, which put benefits of millions of seniors at risk, there are billions of dollars in provider payment cuts. Traditionally, such cuts rarely come to fruition. Special interests lobby to stop any real cuts from occurring after the bill is passed. Therefore, before spending one dime on coverage expansions, Congress should have to “show us the money”. If Congress were to be fiscally responsible, it would bank the savings first before spending the taxpayers money.
  • Impact. Today, 85 percent of Americans have health coverage. After spending over $800 billion dollars to cover the uninsured, the Finance proposal still leave 26 million without health care coverage. And of the ones the bill reaches, the majority will be enrolled in Medicaid – a program sorely in need of reform itself.

Some related reading:

The Baucus bait and switch
Baucus rosy numbers will fade
Baucus fantasty plan will result in sharp increase in taxes
How health care reduces the deficit
The untold story of the CBO report

The key at this point is Senator Olympia Snowe. She’s one of the worst RINOs in Washington, and usually votes with the Dems on key issues. She’s shown considerable reluctance to accept the public option thus far, but if there’s anyone who will cave, it would be her. Expect the Dems to promise her the world, because getting just her vote would give the Dems the political cover they need in order to say ObamaKennedyDeathCare is a ‘bipartisan’ effort. It’s wise to call your own Senators, but if you have an extra two minutes, call or e-mail Snowe’s office, too.

This thing is an absolute disaster waiting to happen, no matter what the media says about it.

There’s my two cents.

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I'm a gun-owning, Bible-thumping, bitter clinger conservative in the heartland. You can disagree with me if you want (you do, after all, have a right to be wrong)...just don't be rude or stupid and we'll get along just fine! :)

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