Posted by: Jeff | March 30, 2010

Quote of the Day

Political memory is often quite short, but it was only a few short years ago that Republicans forced Medicare Part D through Congress, creating growing subsidies for prescription drug benefits that will soon surpass even the “socialist” Obamacare.  From The Tax Foundation:

According to CBO, the gross cost of the coverage provisions of the new health care bill in 2019 (excluding reinsurance and repayments) will cost $192 billion. This includes Medicaid expansion and refundable/nonrefundable tax credits to subsidize health insurance coverage for certain people.

According to President Obama’s most recent budget, according to the current baseline, Medicare Part D (prescription drug benefits) will cost $103 billion (after premiums), which is a little over half of the size of “ObamaCare” for 2019.

(I’m ignoring the financing of either bill and just looking at gross costs, as well as the fact that there are many regulatory provisions in the new health care bill that expand government’s reach in health care.)

However, Medicare Part D, like much of Medicare, is likely to grow much faster than the new health care entitlement that went into law. Therefore, if the new health care entitlement grows at a rate of say 6-7 percent per year, whereas the prescription drug benefit grows at rate of say 9-10 percent per year, it will turn out that around 2040, the Republican entitlement will be costing more than “ObamaCare.”

Interesting that in all the complaining about the size of health care and the complicity of Democrats in creating a rapidly expanding socialist government, nobody ever fingers President Bush or the Republican Congress of 2004.

From Jonathan Cohn:

When President Bush and the Republicans wanted to pass their big health care bill, the creation of a Medicare drug benefit, they didn’t even bother to pay for it. They were happy to run up huge deficits. When a government actuary predicted that the program would cost a lot more than its proponents claimed–a prediction that quite likely could have alienated enough conservative votes in Congress to stop the bill from becoming law–the Bush Administration ordered the actuary to say nothing and threatened to fire him.

How does this comparison get no press?



  1. No, that’s not right. Republican history started last January with a clean slate. 🙂

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