After a year of debate and legislative scheming, President Obama and congressional Democrats are making one last push for their ill-conceived health care plan. Fittingly, the endgame is as unseemly as the various maneuvers and backroom deals that got them this far.
The procedural machinations are outrageous and embarrassing. But they are not nearly as bad as the substance of what the Democrats are pushing. Obama-care (like the public's distaste for it) has not changed -- and the sordid details of the desperate struggle to pass the bill must not cause us to forget its ruinous implications for the country. It is a sweeping and expensive plan to put the federal government in the driver's seat of American health care. But no less important than the dangers it poses for American medicine are the ways it threatens to undermine the nation's prosperity.
The heart of the Democratic plan is a promise to provide subsidized insurance coverage to some 35 to 40 million people. This will cost about $200 billion per year by 2019. And despite all of the talk of bending the cost curve, the Congressional Budget Office says the price will grow by 8 percent per year every year thereafter -- which parallels the rapid cost growth of Medicare and Medicaid over the last four decades. In other words, the White House and congressional Democrats want to create another runaway entitlement program, piled on top of the unaffordable ones that are already slated to bankrupt the government.
Read it all here.