Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kill the bill

It is almost inconceivable to me that the only person standing in the way of the Medicare expansion proposal briefly added to the Senate health care reform bill is Senator Joseph Lieberman.  The 2009 Annual Report of the Boards of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust transmitted to both houses of Congress in May places the unfunded obligation of the Medicare program at $89 trillion.  The 2009 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds places the unfunded obligations of Social Security at $15.1 trillion.  These unfunded obligations do not include costs of any health care reform.

Any thinking, sane observer would agree that immediate reform is needed.  But these reforms should include measures to reduce expenses, reduce waste, reduce fraud, reduce litigation, reduce barriers to interstate insurance commerce, and reduce government bureaucracy.  The health care bill passed by the House does none of these.  It is highly unlikely the mystery bill that emerges from the Senate will do any of these.

Our children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren will be burdened with crippling government debt and lower standards of living if this health care bill is not stopped.

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