I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall in the White House when the C.B.O released this report. I can imagine that Rahm Emmanuel let loose with the F-bombs like the Allies at Dresden. To commence with the nana-nana-boo-booering
CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that the amendment would reduce federal deficits by $68 billion over the 2010-2019 period; it would also slightly reduce federal budget deficits in the following decade, relative to those projected under current law, with a total effect during that decade that is in a broad range between zero and one-quarter percent of gross domestic product.
This is good,good news as the bill after the after ten years would almost truly be "deficit neutral" And the hits keep on coming.
Regulatory reforms in the small group and non-group markets, including establishing association health plans (insurance coverage that is offered to members of an association) and individual membership associations, and allowing states to establish interstate compacts with a unified regulatory structure;
This is what Free-marketeers like myself have been calling for, truly increasing competition between evil horrific insurance companies on a state to state basis. The pool of risk will be larger and will drive premiums down. BET ON IT.
Federal funding for states to use for high-risk pools in the individual insurance market and reinsurance programs in the small group market; and Changes to health savings accounts (HSAs) to allow funds in such accounts to be used to pay premiums under certain circumstances, to make net contributions to HSAs eligible for the saver’s tax credit, and to provide a 60-day grace period for medical expenses incurred prior to the establishment of an HSA.
This might be my favorite portion of the amendment. While states are being further empowered with Federal funding(really their own dollars) for high risk pools and re-insurance programs in the small group market; direct Federal intervention is not happening. The idea behind the GOP's Health Care Bill is to put the individual in charge of his/her healthcare with as little Federal intervention as possible.
Here is the really good stuff:
Limits on costs related to medical malpractice (“tort reform”), including capping noneconomic and punitive damages and making changes in the allocation of liability;
Defensive medicine over. Dead, not coming back. The economic incentive that ambulance chasers like John Edwards has to sue over bad breast implants is gone.
CBO anticipates that the combination of provisions in the amendment would reduce average private health insurance premiums per enrollee in the United States, relative to what they would be under current law-by 7 percent to 10 percent in the small group market, by 5 percent to 8 percent for individually purchased insurance, and by zero to 3 percent in the large group market. Those are averages, however, and they are subject to a great deal of uncertainty; some individuals and families in each market would see different results.
Now, these are the initial estimates by the CBO. So, we can expect to see some changes in the numbers. If these numbers hold up, I believe they will, this is a powerful weapon in the fight. What defenders of this bill, you and I, need to do is be able to explain how the inclusion of free-market reforms in this measure will lead to more innovation and lower costs for the population at large. We need to draw the distinct differences between the efficiency of the private markets and the sprawling inefficiency of the government bureaucracy. This is a battle that we can win. History and economics are on our side. Hope and change are on the side of the Democrats, also I believe they may have a centaur, but we'll still survive. Let's Dance.
The Great Thomas Sowell hits the nail on the head.
Economics and politics confront the same fundamental problem: What everyone wants adds up to more than there is. Market economies deal with this problem by confronting individuals with the costs of producing what they want, and letting those individuals make their own trade-offs when presented with prices that convey those costs. That leads to self-rationing, in the light of each individual’s own circumstances and preferences.