One of the key elements of the Democratic proposals is to hand over the power to make cost cuts to an unelected, unimpeachable council similar to MedPAC. By empowering such an insular entity to make decisions over which health care procedures and medicines are cost-effective, we will have surrendered enormous freedom over personal health care. If a procedure or medication is not approved by this entity, it will not be economically viable for the provider to bring it to market, so it will not be available even if you were willing to pay out of pocket.
Putting aside our freedom, the CBO has come out with an analysis (appearing in full below) which shows that handing over health care decisions to an entity such as MedPAC will not save any substantial sums over the next decade, even as the cost of health care "reform" escalates. As related at The Politico:
What a pathetic joke the Democratic legislative effort has become. Loss of freedom and no meaningful cost savings. The opposite of "you get what you pay for."
For the second time this month, congressional budget analysts have dealt a blow to the Democrat's health reform efforts, this time by saying a plan touted by the White House as crucial to paying for the bill would actually save almost no money over 10 years.
A key House chairman and moderate House Democrats on Tuesday agreed to a White House-backed proposal that would give an outside panel the power to make cuts to government-financed health care programs. White House budget director Peter Orszag declared the plan "probably the most important piece that can be added" to the House's health care reform legislation.
But on Saturday, the Congressional Budget Office said the proposal to give an independent panel the power to keep Medicare spending in check would only save about $2 billion over 10 years- a drop in the bucket compared to the bill's $1 trillion price tag.
As Rahm Emanuel and Henry Waxman push to have a vote next week, it is clear that neither the Congress nor the White House has any clue as to the consequences of what they are proposing (if they even have read it). All the more reason we need to see the bill, debate it, and let our representatives know how we feel before they vote.
So give double thanks this weekend. First, for the CBO not giving in to political pressure. And second, for the fact that the CBO works on Saturdays.
UPDATE: Read 5 freedoms you'd lose in health care reform:
In short, the Obama platform would mandate extremely full, expensive, and highly subsidized coverage -- including a lot of benefits people would never pay for with their own money -- but deliver it through a highly restrictive, HMO-style plan that will determine what care and tests you can and can't have. It's a revolution, all right, but in the wrong direction.
Unaccountable Commission May Run Healthcare
Deception and Tyranny Key To Health Care Reform
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