Here’s the second-to-last post in this series discussing the President’s remarks on health care reform in Portsmouth, New Hampshire:
THE PRESIDENT: About two-thirds of those costs we can cover by eliminating the inefficiencies that I already mentioned. So I already talked about $177 billion worth of subsidies to the insurance companies. Let’s take that money, let’s put it in the kitty. There’s about $500 billion to $600 billion over 10 years that can be saved without cutting benefits for people who are currently receiving Medicare, actually making the system more efficient over time.
That does still leave, though, anywhere from $300 billion to $400 billion over 10 years, or $30 billion to $40 billion a year. That does have to be paid for, and we will need new sources of revenue to pay for it. And I’ve made a proposal that would — I want to just be very clear — the proposal, my preferred approach to this would have been to take people like myself who make more than $250,000 a year, and limit the itemized deductions that we can take to the same level as middle-class folks can take them.
Maybe the President knows something about the Baucus bill that isn’t public. In the House bill only 21% of the savings come from Medicare and Medicaid, not two-thirds.
Congressional Democrats rejected the President’s proposal to limited itemized deductions last winter. The House bill would instead raise income tax rates on high-income individuals and successful small business owners.
Other posts in this series:
- The President’s overpromise that everyone can keep their health plan
- Putting the government in charge of your health insurance
- Waiting in line
- Government-mandated benefits
- Preventive care does not save money (in the aggregate)
- The House bill would increase short-term, 10th year, and long-term budget deficits
- The President was incorrect — AARP opposes the bill
- The bills would take Medicare savings needed for solvency and spend them on a new entitlement
- Medicare is not a good example of government-run health care because Medicare is fiscally unsustainable
- Even if the public option drops out of legislation, other parts of these bills would put private insurance under government control
- The President says the public option will keep private insurers honest at the same time he proposes cutting payments to private insurers competing with the Medicare public option
- The pending bills would move more cost-benefit decisions from insurers to people chosen by the government
- Guaranteed renewal and guaranteed issue
- The President says “we may be able to get even more than” the $80 B of budgetary savings that the pharmaceutical industry thought was a ceiling promised by the White House.
- The President says he’s not “promoting” a single-payer plan, but the only concern he raises is a disruptive transition.
- Many examples suggest that the government cannot compete on a level playing field with private firms.
- The President trashes the U.S. Postal Service and undermines the case that government can run a complex health system.
- The President understates the annual cost of new spending by a factor of two.