What Is the True Cost Of Health Care Reform?

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com    

The Congressional Budget Office says Health Care reform will Cost $1 trillion over the next 10 years.  The White House says it will “save “money.  Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said just a few days ago the tab will be $2.5 trillion over the next decade!  Who is right?  I don’t think anybody really knows.  When it comes right down to it, everybody’s guessing.     

 

There are ways being proposed to control costs such as limit the pay and compensation of health care management.  The CEO of Cigna took home $11 million in salary last year.  The United Health Group Chief made more than $9 million in pay last year.  There is no shortage of executives in the health insurance industry who make more than a half million dollars annually.  When health insurance executives knock down big bucks, it is paid for by the insured.  Instead of giving everyone in the insurance pool refunds, executives rake in millions on what is essentially an “overpayment of premium” racket.   

Let’s just say every executive in the industry is forced to take a huge pay cut.  How much could that save?  At best say $300 million?  Cutting the exorbitant pay of health care executives would certainly be a moral victory, but it would not drastically cut costs for everyone.  After all, we are talking about a program that is projected to cost at least $1 trillion (one thousand billion is a trillion).  I am not counting on any meaningful cuts in executive pay.   

The big problem with the President’s plan is insuring 45 million new people.  Most of these people do not have health insurance because they simply can’t afford it.  There are some who do not want to sacrifice and pay for it.  Under the new plan, denial of coverage for a pre-exsisting condition will be a thing of the past.  That is a great thing for sick people who need coverage.  But let’s say you are not sick.  Under the President’s plan, a person can simply pay a penalty of $695 a year (starting in 2016) and not get health insurance.  (Source: CNN click here for more)  That comes out to about $58 a month.  Remember, when you get sick and really need coverage, you can get it– no questions asked.  Wouldn’t that be a lot cheaper than $300 or $400 a month for coverage that you may not need?  This is one of the ways the system will be gamed.  It will force folks who do the right thing (buy into a plan) to shoulder a much higher percentage of the cost.   

What about people who want coverage and cannot afford it?  The President has said many times these people will be eligible for “subsidies.”  I guess the government will just go to the subsidy orchard and pick bushels of subsidies for everyone.  Those “subsidies” will come from taxpayers who will be forced to pay for people who cannot.  Remember, this is 45 million additional people we are talking about, and you cannot insure that many people for free.   The new health care plan will be an additional burden to the economy at a time when comparisons to the Great Depression are routine.    

In a perfect world, everyone should have access to health care, but the world the U.S. finds itself in is barely solvent.  There are already two huge entitlement programs the country is struggling to fund.  How are we going to afford a new health care plan (that insures everybody) when we haven’t figured out how to pay for Social Security and Medicare?   

I am still predicting the President will win the health care battle but will lose the economy war.  There is no way to predict what the true cost of health care reform will be.  There are only two things you can say–health care reform is a brand-new entitlement, and it will cost big money when it’s enacted.

Comments
  1. George

    Damn Greg,
    I thought that cameras were not allowed in the operating room. You know that the Wall Street banker didn’t even hit the brakes of his half a million dollar Mercedes SLR McLaren Roadster.as I crossed the street with my 401-K walker. He (banker) hit me, stopped and took my wallet and 401-K and then drove off leaving me to die penniless.
    His passenger, a Health Care executive, told the banker laughing not to worry, “I wont approve his treatment, he’ll die and I’ll get a higher bonus. It’s cost effect medicine”.

    Welcome to the New World Order, Mr. George Orwell, you were right; you just missed the date by twenty five years.

    Thanks for exposing the excesses of health care pay. What makes these guys worth this money? If they made a few million less, how many lives could be saved?

    • Greg

      Thanks George!
      Greg

  2. Mark Mudgett

    Hello Greg,

    That was a really good read! I enjoyed it.

    I did get your point regarding exec pay, it is a drop in a huge barrel.

    One additional point regarding executive pay: Obama is paying 9 million to the chief of Government Motors; don’t you think that it will take some highly skilled and valuable execs to manage huge health care subsidiaries (which will be under the control of gubmint, as GM is)?

    My point, exec pay won’t go away.

    Obama’s pay is not just his $400,000 salary. His tab for AF1 jet fuel is in the 10s of millions. He lives for free in the WH (he does pay for his food, I believe). Please don’t think he flies AF1 for purely business reasons. He escapes the Oval office by jumping on AF1 and making speeches all over the world. He likes campaigning.

    If the people of the US are stupid enough to offer me full coverage the day after I get sick, I will accept their offer. I won’t pay for health insurance I don’t need. $58 per month is a deal! Sign me up!

    Greg, you and I use dynamic scoring, the CBO uses static scoring.

    markm

    • Greg

      Mark,
      Thanks for your addition to the post . . .Good point!
      Greg

  3. Tom

    “$58 per month is a deal! Sign me up!”

    So this is what the people who endured unimaginable hardships and fought and died to start this country did that for? This is just indescribably pathetic.

  4. Brad Thrasher

    Great point about gaming the system being more cost effective than paying your dues. But Greg, I have to ask why so much bias against the little guy?

    Corporations are “gaming the system” by offering only part time jobs instead of full time jobs to avoid paying their part of health care as well.

    We will never turn this country around so long as we reward and admire the shrewd and clever at the expense of the responsible.

    • Greg

      Brad,
      This is not a “big guy, little guy” issue. I am simply pointing out the cost issue which is constantly being glossed over.
      Greg

      • Brad Thrasher

        Hey Greg,

        It certainly is a “big guy, little guy” issue when the little guy is admonished for “gaming the system” and the big guy gets a pass for doing the same thing.

        All the best,
        Thrash

        • Greg

          Brad,
          Nobody should get a pass and my post reflected that point. Health Care will be expensive and we have ignored the problemms with SS and Medicare.
          Greg

  5. Anobodysmallcityusa

    It is shocking that after all the catastrophes caused by actions on wishful thinking that anyone is even entertaining the thought of another entitlement. Meanwhile, we continue the denial and drive off the cliff with unemployment, cobra assistance, and food stamps with no meaningful discussion on how to pay for it. These too have become entitlements per Harry Reid’s “right to survive”. Well Harry, your going to sink the ship and the life boats too with this mentality. Weimar we will be.

    • Greg

      Anobody,
      We are on a collision course with reality. This will not be a soft landing.
      Greg

  6. Mark Mudgett

    Hello Tom,

    One good quote deserves another: “This is just indescribably pathetic.”

    Pathetic is the word. The government teet does not have enough milk for all us. Somebody has to create some wealth and take financial risks. We have become whining babies who want a “mommy” to fix our ouchies. Utopia does not exist.

    Our gun toting, bayonet bearing forefathers would be ashamed.

    markm

  7. Chris

    Mr. Hunter,

    It’s just another case of “same old, same old” that has been going on for years. It always seems like each administration that comes in would rather take on new projects rather than clean up the old ones. Akin to building a brand new wing on a rotting house each time a section becomes unlivable.

    Considering the donations to Obama’s presidential campaign by health care special interest groups, one can understand why he seems so overzealous. It is just adding yet more unsustainable debt and will most likely be the deciding factor when small businesses choose not to hire that much needed extra worker.

    Chris

    P.S. I miss our late night conversations and hope all is well.

    • Greg

      Chris,
      Thank you for weighing in!
      Greg

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