Democrats are as happy as a tick on a fat dog. That’s because they’re getting every tax hike and spending increase they ever wanted.
Take the health care bill, for example. Setting aside the 20 tax increases included in the bill — which alone is enough to make the case that this is a bad, bad idea — this so-called reform legislation will raise health care expenditures by $311 billion over the next 10 years, according to a new report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
$311 billion. Let that number soak in for a few minutes, and you’ll easily understand why I’m so outraged.
What’s more outrageous is that estimate — which surprisingly enough comes straight from an Obama administration agency — stands in stark contrast to what the president promised only eight months ago.
Never miss a local story.
Appearing before a joint session of Congress, President Obama assured the American people that his version of health care reform would “slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.”
He was wrong. Now you’re going to be asked to pony up.
Feeling sick yet?
One area the CMS looked at which is of particular interest to me is risk pools for the uninsured with pre-existing conditions, a hot topic among my fellow Georgians.
Georgia, like so many states that’ve seen this happen time and time again with broken promises from the federal government, is worried that when the initial funding runs dry, the state will be forced to pick up the tab.
The CMS confirms what we figured: the $5 billion for high-risk pool insurance is not nearly enough. The report finds that the funding will be exhausted by 2011 or 2012 — one or two years from now! Not to mention the fact that only 375,000 will be covered when, according to one report, the number of people considered eligible is in the millions.
This plan just passes the bill to the taxpayer. It’s why I opposed Obama’s stimulus package last year, and it’s just one of the many reasons why I’m opposed to the health care legislation that recently passed Congress.
I’m not surprised because this is exactly what happens when you empower bureaucrats pulling the federal government purse strings. Taxpayers are always going to lose.
I still believe we can do better. By repealing this bill, we can enact freemarket health care reform. Whether it’s letting families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines, allowing individuals and small businesses to pool together to acquire lower-priced coverage or ending junk lawsuits that contribute to higher medical costs, we can inject some commonsense into the health care marketplace. But it’s up to the people to make their voices heard.
If they throw out the current majorities in Congress this November, it will send a message to President Obama: Put the brakes on reckless spending and endless tax hikes immediately. Then, I guarantee the happy ones will be the taxpayers.
U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., represents Georgia’s Third Congressional District.