President Obama put a happy face on his health care vision Wednesday night, so it's hard for fair-minded folks to really know what's going on. Because "The Factor" does not play partisan games, we looked around for the best possible information about Obamacare, and I'm happy to report we found some very good stuff. So here we go.
According to the Lewin Group, an independent research firm owned by United Health, Obamacare would cost the country about $530 billion over the next 10 years. Not too bad. But after that, the costs explode, leading to a $2.4 trillion expenditure on health care over a 20-year period. However, state and local governments would save billions, as the costs shift to Washington.
Now, as you may know, President Obama says cutting down on waste and fraud would pay for health care reform, but "Talking Points" believes that is a complete fantasy. There's likely to be more fraud and waste as the federal program gets bigger.
As for you, families in which all members now have insurance would save about $175 a year on lower premiums. But families where people are not insured would have to spend about $1,400 on average to get on the rolls. The feds would pick up much of that tab.
Lewin says employers would have to pay about $300 more per worker if Obamacare passes. Of course, those costs would be passed on to we consumers. Also, with more Americans opting into a federal health marketplace, employer-based health insurance would fall by about 11 million workers. So some job place programs you have now would fold.
The key here is quality control. The president believes the feds can impose a more efficient system and hold private insurance companies accountable for misbehavior, which is unfortunately rampant, as you may know if you've had to spar for the insurance people to get reimbursement. I have.
"Talking Points" believes that strict government oversight is possible, but tough guys would have to be hired, and that would mean a large expansion of the federal bureaucracy, something conservative Americans loathe.
The strength of Obama's vision is controlling costs and eliminating the chaos that comes from 40 million uninsured Americans potentially using hospital emergency rooms for medical care. The weakness in Obamacare is the massive spending involved and the specter of rationing health care because there will not be enough doctors and nurses to handle all the new patients, so we're going to have to wait.
At this point, the president is basically dodging those two realities.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Right now there's an auction going on to help American military people who have been wounded in action. Sponsored by Ride 2 Recovery, the auction features a dinner with Sarah Palin, lunch with Karl Rove, hanging out with Gary Sinise, and a bunch of other great things. You can check it all out on ebay.com/ride2recovery. And we hope you do check it out, because this is a very patriotic enterprise.
On the pinhead front, watch this.
Now, if you walk behind a horse and then slap the horse's tail, you are a pinhead. The horse was right. Any questions?