Friday, March 19, 2010

Democrats Call Bullshit On Their Own CBO Score

From a leaked memo circulating within the Democratic party, strict orders not to to discuss the CBO score, lest the truth interfere with their hand-picked narrative:

We cannot emphasize enough: do not allow yourself (or your boss) to get into a discussion of the details of the CBO scores and textual narrative. Instead, focus only on the deficit reduction and number of Americans covered. There are two CBO letters Republican operatives have already begun distorting in their pursuit of killing our reform efforts: 1) CBO's March 11, 2010 letter to Leader Reid analyzing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as passed by.the Senate, and 2} CBO's letter to Leader Reid (November 18, 2009) with the initial score of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
I list these letters only to warn you of coming attscks from right-wing operatives and Republican sympathizers in the media. Those anti-reform extremists are making a last-ditch effort to derail reform. Do not give them ground by debating details. (For example, the March 11 letter has estimates of discretionary costs not accounted in the total). Again, instead focus only on the deficit reduction and number of Americans covered. In the critical remaining hours of debate we must drive the narrative of "health reform is deficit reduction."

Too bad no one, not even the house whores of the Party, the New York Times and the Washington Post, are buying this line of shit...first, the WaPo:

Congressional Budget Office's sunny forecast carries big uncertainties

....although the forecasts that accompany legislation are always filled with uncertainty, this one contains more than most...One major reason is the sheer complexity of the legislation....the proposal on the table contains sweeping changes that would touch almost all corners of the health-care system, and the changes interrelate in hard-to-predict ways....

The estimates assume that the legislation plays out as written over the coming decade, which would mean reining in the growth of payments to doctors and hospitals and implementing a tax on high-cost health insurance plans....

Fat freakin' chance. The Times seems more critical of the process (take that, Nancy!), than the legislation, which they admit was based less on pinpoint reform goals and more on pinpoint dollar goals:

Love it or hate it, one thing that is indisputable about the Democrats’ big health care legislation is that the cost figures are going to come out right where President Obama said he wanted them.

....the overall numbers were never going to miss the mark. Whenever the budget office judged that some element or elements of the bill would cause a problem meeting the cost and deficit-reduction targets, Democrats just adjusted the underlying legislation to make sure it would hit their goal.

Back to the leaked memo up top, here's where the Democrats admit that they will never pass the "doc fix" (cutting payments to doctors - now that's a great way to insure quality medical care!) needed to make the bill cost "only" a trillion or so:

Most health staff are already aware that our health proposal does not contain a “doc fix.” Some Republicans have repeated CBO’s November 18 letter that says “the sustainable growth rate (SGR) mechanism governing Medicare’s payments to physicians has frequently been modified (either through legislation or administrative action) to avoid reductions in those payments, and legislation to do so again is currently under consideration in Congress.” The inclusion of a full SGR repeal would undermine reform’s budget neutrality.

. . .As most health staff knows, Leadership and the White House are working with the AMA to rally physicians support for a full SGR repeal later this spring. However, both health and communications staff should understand we do not want that policy discussed at this time, lest it complicate the last critical push to pass health reform.

The Democrats know their bill is bullshit; they just need to sell it to themselves for a few more days, and the nationalization of American medicine, the best in the world, is complete. The media knows the cost is exponentially higher than what the public is being told, but they report on it through a silk hankie, so as not to offend the editorial board or their masters in the Democratic party (so much for that whole "truth to power" thing...).

And now we know it's bullshit. Angry yet?


Anonymous said...

Great blog. Totally agree with everything you post.

Conservative Libertine said...

What is most amazing is that they really seem to believe they are fooling people?

What they are really doing is insulting the intelligence of normal Americans.

"Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining."
-The Outlaw Josey Wales