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The cost of repealing healthcare reform

January 6, 2011

I’ll give some credit to Boehner – he had the CBO cost his bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But the news that comes back is not good at all for the Republicans. Over the next decade, repeal would add $240 billion to the deficit. Funny how a party that claims to care about the deficit fails its first test. What about premiums? In the individual market, they would a bit lower, but only because “the average insurance policy in this market would cover a smaller share of enrollees’ costs for health care and a slightly narrower range of benefits” – in other words, because the benefits are crappier and many are excluded because of pre-existing conditions. To make it worse, many will pay more for this crappier package because the subsidies have been eliminated. And in the large-employer market (where most people get their insurance today), premiums would actually rise a bit, while Cantor and his minions are going around saying the exact opposite. Probably the most depression change of all – 32 million fewer people will have health insurance. And of course, the CBO cost estimates are strictly limited. How do you put a cost on nearly half a million people dying over a ten year period simply because they lack health insurance? How do you put a cost on the millions of families who suffer grievously because they lack health insurance?

  1. Kurt permalink
    January 6, 2011 2:39 pm

    And there now has been confirmed a second death in Arizona due to the Republican cutbacks. Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and may light perpetual shine upon them

  2. Jimmy Mac permalink
    January 6, 2011 5:17 pm

    When asked about this today, Boehner was alleged to have replied: “The CBO is entitled to their opinion.”

    And this is the kind of leadership that we can expect in the House for the next 2 years?

  3. Austin Ruse permalink
    January 7, 2011 9:10 am

    From David Brook’s today in teh New York Times:

    “The new system is based on a series of expert projections on how people will behave. In the first test case, these projections were absurdly off base. According to the Medicare actuary, 375,000 people should have already signed up for the new high-risk pools for the uninsured, but only 8,000 have.

    More seriously, cost projections are way off. For example, New Hampshire’s plan has only about 80 members, but the state has already burned through nearly double the $650,000 that the federal government allotted to help run the program. If other projections are off by this much, the results will be disastrous.”

  4. digbydolben permalink
    January 7, 2011 10:47 am

    MM, you’re Canadian, I have eventually been able to gather. There’s something that you apparently haven’t been able to recognise despite your fairly accurate gauge of the effect of Calvinist heresy on American culture: the Americans care more about what they call “liberty” than they do about human life or social and economic justice. It’s as simple as that: American culture–even the culture of American Catholics–is more profoundly influenced by what you and I consider to be Englightenment libertinism than it is by Catholic Christian theology. Americans, by and large, do not even understand what orthodox Christian anthropology, let alone Christian social justice theory. IS, due to the profound influence upon their culture, of the pessimistic theologies of Paul, Augustine, Calvin and Luther. The optimistic and Greek-influenced philosophy of Aquinas has hardly ever made a dent.

  5. Kurt permalink
    January 7, 2011 11:04 am

    Two House Republicans Miss Swearing-In Ceremony, Violate Constitution

    Two House Republicans missed the official congressional swearing in ceremony because they were hobnobbing at a lavish party for themselves.

    Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, and freshman Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., violated the Constitution by missing the ceremony, though apparently they did take the oath while watching the ceremony on TV from the shindig for Fitzpatrick at the Capitol Visitors Center.

    House Republicans had to put their health care repeal vote on hold when they found out that Sessions—who had been casting votes all day as a member of the House Rules Committee—wasn’t a bona fide congressman yet. Committee Chair David Dreier, R-Calif., was forced to suspend hearings, and Sessions’ blunder may cost the committee all their health care repeal work so far. House Speaker John Boehner is trying to persuade Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to approve the committee’s work retroactively.

    • Cindy permalink
      January 7, 2011 7:46 pm

      When they violate the Consitution, it’s fine and dandy. Where is the Tea Party outrage?

  6. January 7, 2011 1:46 pm

    How do you put a cost on the millions of families who suffer grievously because they lack health insurance?

    Many Democratic (and Catholic) Senators put the cost at “not giving pro-lifers a victory” when they voted against the Nelson Amendment, which at the time was thought to have killed health care reform.

    Now, is the “millions of families” hyperbole, or is it actually the case that the Democratic Party values not including pro-life language (which Vox Nova repeatedly assured me was meaningless) in health care reform more than the suffering of millions of famililes?

    Here’s my point: I just don’t believe the impact is as big as you say. And I don’t think you believe it either. The reasons is your complete lack of apparent outrage at the Nelson amendment vote. These huge figures are a convenient club to use to beat up Republicans when you want it, but it’s forgotten at other times.

    I am glad health care reform passed, and oppose its repeal. Though I will add that an actual repeal of HCR is as unlikely as FOCA passing during the last Congress, and we were all lectured to shut up about that.

    But I oppose this demonizing rhetoric over differences of opinion.

  7. Kurt permalink
    January 7, 2011 9:53 pm

    which at the time was thought to have killed health care reform….

    Thought by you and likely some others. While I supported the first Nelson amendment, I never thought its defeat killed health care reform, and history has shown me to be correct.

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