As five separate panels compete to produce health care reform bills that can pass muster in both Houses of Congress, opposition by a wide array of groups is growing over the projected cost of any potential health care plan. Congressional Budget Office estimates of $1-4 trillion over 10 years along with many still left uninsured have given serious blows to the credibility of a government-run and government-funded plan, and Democrats are growing increasingly nervous over potential fallout over a costly plan. One indication of this is Sen. Max Baucus, Senate Finance Committee Chairman, withdrawing a health care bill he had planned to introduce today over cost concerns.
The numbers from the CBO, which are about as nonpartisan as you can get on the Hill, should concern anyone – the cost is quite simply unsustainable, especially for a nation as deep in debt and deficits as we are and one which is already undergoing tough economic times. Innovative incentives and restructuring might accomplish many of the same health care goals, but Democrats are instead relying on the only thing they apparently know how to do – create more bureaucracy and then throw large sums of money at it.
The public, no matter how much some may want health care reform, are growing wary of all of the rapid government spending, to say nothing of the competitive pitfalls of a government plan directly in competition with private ones. The goal of some, despite what HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius might tell you, is to eventually crowd the private plans out with government as the sole remaining option. The cost and damaging government intrusion make all the potential bills with “public options” dangerously unrealistic for an America that can ill afford expensive experiments that seem doomed to failure.