Take It To The River, Drop It In The Water, Hold It Under Until It’s Good And Dead

Everyone wants better healthcare. But making it worse and more expensive is obviously the wrong way to go about reform. Of course, better, more affordable healthcare apparently isn’t part of Obama’s agenda. Thankfully, the secretive, rushed through, Democrat controlled Congressional process is starting to catch a few whiffs of sanity and fresh air.

CBO Chief Criticizes Democrats’ Health Reform Measures

Instead of saving the federal government from fiscal catastrophe, the health reform measures being drafted by congressional Democrats would increase rather than reduce public spending on health care, potentially worsening an already bleak budget outlook, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said this morning.

Under questioning by members of the Senate Budget Committee, CBO director Douglas Elmendorf said bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose “the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount.”

“On the contrary,” Elmendorf said, “the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health-care costs.”

Though President Obama and Democratic leaders have said repeatedly that reining in the skyrocketing growth in spending on government health programs such as Medicaid and Medicare is their top priority, the reform measures put forth so far would not fulfill their pledge to “bend the cost curve” downward, Elmendorf said. Instead, he said, “The curve is being raised.”

The CBO is the official arbiter of the costs of legislation, and Elmendorf’s stark testimony is certain to undermine support for the measures even as three House panels begin debate and aim to put a bill on the House floor before the August recess. Fiscal conservatives in the House, known as the Blue Dogs, were already threatening to block passage of legislation in the Energy and Commerce Committee, primarily due to concerns about the long-term costs of the House bill.

Centrist Dem Leader: Has Committee Votes To Block Health Bill

U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., a leader of fiscally conservative House Democrats, said Wednesday a House plan to overhaul the U.S. health-care system is losing support and will be stuck in committee without changes.

“Last time I checked, it takes seven Democrats to stop a bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee,” Ross told reporters after a House vote. “We had seven against it last Friday; we have 10 today.”

Three House committees are slated to begin considering the $1 trillion-plus bill this week, but the Energy and Commerce looms as the biggest challenge. That’s because it counts among its 36 Democratic members seven members of the Blue Dog Coalition, a fiscally conservative bloc that is opposing the House Democrats’ effort.

Ross said the bill, introduced Wednesday by House Democratic leaders, doesn’t include provisions adequate to curb rising health care costs, including what the government spends on healthcare.

“The current bill would have to be substantially amended before we could consider supporting it,” Ross said.

See also:
CBO says costs will rise as healthcare expanded
Rep. Camp raises concerns about health care bill
Cost at heart of GOP attack
Joe Biden: ‘We Have to Go Spend Money to Keep From Going Bankrupt’
Real battle over health care reform about to begin
Health Care Push and Pushback
The White House’s Definition of Bipartisanship
Income Tax Hike on the Wealthy to Pay for Health Care Reform
GETTING PERSONAL: Health Bill Creates Deluge Of Tax Talk
Study: House Democrats’ Health Care Bill Pushes Top Tax Rates to Over 50% in Most States
The Eye-Popping Cost of Obamacare
Tax Hike Comin’
House Dems’ Health Reform Taxes Rich, Creates Public Plan, Employer Penalties

/why is it that anyone with a fifth grade education can easily understand basic economic reality, but Obama and most of the Democrats can’t?