Barack Obama certainly has quite a plan to solve the nonexistent healthcare problem. Major features:
Health-care overhaul legislation being drafted by House Democrats will include $600 billion in tax increases and $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said.
Democrats will work on the bill’s details next week as they struggle through “what kind of heartburn” it will cause to agree on how to pay for revamping the health-care system, Rangel, a New York Democrat, said today.
Even getting "Chuckles" Rangel to cough up all the taxes he has been evading isn't going to fill this black hole.
Asked whether the cost of a health-care overhaul would be more than $1 trillion over a decade, Rangel said, “the answer is yes.” Some Senate Republicans, including Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, say the costs will likely exceed $1.5 trillion.
Rangel said Democrats are still considering options for tax increases that might be in the bill, including a possible end to the income tax exclusion for employer-paid health benefits.
That's certainly a a bummer, but don't worry if you are a union member, Since your leadership has Barack Obama in their collective hip pocket, you won't be affected:
Mr. Baucus, the Finance Committee chairman who is helping lead the Obama health effort, is still deciding what to include in the bill. But his far bigger headache remains how to pay for this blowout. He and other Democrats have been inching toward the taboo benefits-tax, putting them on a collision course with liberal special interests like unions. Mr. Baucus's newest solution? A union payoff.
Mr. Baucus officially floated his plans for a tax this week, only with a surprising twist: His levy will not apply to union plans, at least for the duration of existing contracts. In other words, Mr. Baucus intends to tax the health-care benefits only of those who didn't spend a fortune electing Democrats to office.
And the second class citizens can pound sand, I guess. Still, we'll all be in the same manure pile when it comes to rationing of healthcare which Obama's flying monkey bloggers are already trying to turn into a benefit:
Democratic blogger Ezra Klein appears to be positioning Dem health care reforms as a way to cut costs, on the grounds that a reformed system will be able to make "hard choices" and "rational" coverage decisions, by which Klein seems to mean "not providing" treatments that are unproven or too expensive--when "a person's life, or health, is not worth the price." Matthew Yglesias' recent post seems to be saying the same thing, though clarity isn't its strong suit. (He must have left it on Journolist.)
Isn't it an epic mistake to try to sell Democratic health care reform on this basis? Possible sales pitch: "Our plan will deny you unnecessary treatments!" Or maybe just "Republicans say 'yes.' Democrats say 'no'!" Is that really why the middle class will sign on to a revolutionary multi-trillion dollar shift in spending--so the government can decide their life or health "is not worth the price"? I mean, how could it lose?
Even better, of course, is the observation that it's mostly old folks that need medical care and so what Obama and his pals are proposing is really, "Let the Boomers Die!" Why not just give each one of the Baby Boomers an expiration date? That would sure solve the money problem.