It was in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal that Karl Rove’s op-ed piece blew me away, but I wanted to wait until today to run it here at America’s Right, because the House vote on health care reform is getting closer and closer, and Rove’s commentary was loaded from first word to last with information about Nancy Pelosi’s bill, now conveniently more than 2,000 pages long.
Rove’s piece was as good as I’ve seen from the man, and for the sake of this commentary can be split into two sections: first, an analysis of Tuesday’s elections and what they mean for years to come and, second, a brilliant summary of what H.R. 3962 means for America.
Rove on Tuesday’s Elections
If this doesn’t put a little skip in your step, ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know what will. While it is far too early to speculate, and I’m not a big fan of counting chickens before they’re breaded and pan-fried, three little paragraphs in particular had me intrigued and happy. Pay special attention to the final paragraph excerpted here:
The trend here is that suburban and independent voters moved into the GOP column. The overall shift away from Democrats was 13 points in Virginia, 12 points in New Jersey, and eight points in Pennsylvania.
Even a five-point swing in 2010 could bring a tidal wave of change. Today, Democrats enjoy 60 votes in the Senate, Republicans a mere 40. Had there been a five-point swing away from Democrats last fall, the party would have started this year with 54 seats and the Republicans 46.
A five-point shift in 2006 would have left the GOP in control of the House. In 2008, a five-point shift would have produced a Democratic loss of six House seats rather than a gain of 21. It would also have put John McCain into the White House with 279 Electoral College votes to Mr. Obama’s 259.
If you ask the Democrats, they’ll tell you that they have a mandate. If you ask the Democrats, they’ll tell you that Tuesday’s results had only a spurious connection to the policies and agenda they’re working overtime to ram through on Capitol Hill. Heck, Pelosi even insisted that losing Virginia and New Jersey was a win.
In reality, however, Rove’s example of what only a five-point swing would have meant goes directly to the strength and nature of the Democrats’ so-called “mandate.” Considering how much a five-point swing could have changed, and considering also that the Democrats had a historical candidate at the top of the ballot, it is significantly easier to see that the political right’s hopes should not be as dashed as the Democrats and the mainstream press might otherwise insist.
Add to that decisive swings in the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, not to mention the judicial contests in my home state (for now), and we see that the results of a right-leaning push-back are already tangible — we just have to see them through next year and in 2012.
Rove’s Excellent Summary of H.R. 3962
What drew me to Rove’s Wall Street Journal op-ed was the analysis of election politics. When it comes to doing just that, nobody is better. I was pleasantly surprised–understatement of the year–to find a brilliant summary of what Nancy Pelosi’s health care reform bill would mean for America. In many of Rove’s own words, and organized conveniently into bullet points (nifty!), here’s what had me shaking my head:
In the first ten years:
- The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) pegs its cost at $1.055 trillion, not the $894 billion Mrs. Pelosi claims.
- Because the bill is designed to front-load revenue and benefit cuts and back-load costs, the real cost, according to a Republican House Budget Committee report, could be $2.4 trillion.
- The bill calls for $572 billion in new taxes (including a 5.4% income surtax on anyone making more than $500,000 a year).
- The bill calls for $426 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts.
It’s effect on small business:
- Small businesses will be responsible for paying $153.5 billion of the surtax, according to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.
- Small businesses unable to provide health coverage to their workers would also pay up to 8% in new payroll taxes, costing the greatest job creation engine in America $135 billion more over the next decade, thereby diminishing their ability to create jobs.
Other tax increases:
- A $2 billion tax on those who already have health insurance.
- $20 billion in taxes on medical devices.
- $8 billion in taxes on anyone who buys over-the-counter drugs with money from their health-savings account.
- $140 billion in higher taxes on drugs.
Additional costs seen by American families:
- Premiums will increase, to the point where a family of four with an income of $78,000 would pay $13,800 for insurance a year by 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office, rather than $11,000 without the bill.
- Every American would be required to buy health insurance or be fined up to 2.5% of their income, a likely unconstitutional individual mandate.
Additional burdens on American doctors:
- Providers will be paid on a Medicare scale. Many doctors do not see Medicare patients because they cannot afford it. To make up for lost revenue, practices will close or schedules will tighten, so doctors can see more patients in less time.
- Medicare denies reimbursement claims at almost twice the rate of private insurers, according to the American Medical Association’s 2008 “National Health Insurer Report Card.”
Other notable effects:
- The bill dumps $34 billion onto already strained state budgets by pushing more of the working poor off private insurance and into Medicaid.
- There’s no proof of citizenship required for the public option, so illegal aliens could get subsidies.
- The legislation doesn’t close the door to using taxpayer funds on abortion.
The Democrats are pushing this legislation purportedly because they want to insure the uninsured, yet both the CBO and the Lewin Group have noted that millions will still remain without coverage. They’re advocating for reform because health care costs are rising, but they refuse to harness the power of the free market by opening up private insurance to interstate competition, or allowing small businesses to pool employees for more buying power associated with a more attractive risk pool. And they’re saying that health care reform is an emergency, yet nothing would come into effect until 2013, one year after the next presidential election.
As we’ve seen, Karl Rove’s op-ed can be split into two sections — perhaps it’s best deemed the Good News and the Bad News. The bad news is that the Democrats’ plan will bankrupt America; the good news is that America is waking up to what they’re being force-fed, and that the Democrats’ plans will likely spell the end of the Democratic Party.