Good News and Bad News on Elections and Health Care

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.

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Comments

  1. Rix says:

    As I am tiring to repeat, the naivete of American conservatives will never cease to amaze me.

    Even if the healthcare reform is as fiercely unpopular in the whole country as it is in my house, there are at least 20-30% who clearly benefit from it because they get something for nothing. They will become very active and vociferous electoral thralls to Democrats.

    The reform is cleverly set to start in 2013, right after the general elections. If Obama holds onto the chair, he will likely use his next four years to strip the country of any remnants of liberty; if he does not, his Republican successor will have to deal with an outrageous increase in entitlements, sufficient to cripple any attempts to restore fiscal sanity. That means another Democrat demagogue will grab the reins in 4 or 8 years. Wash, rinse, and repeat ad nauseam.

    And the last but not the least: thanks to our wonderful education system, shining intelligence of our TV programs and contiuous brain import across Rio Grande, our population is dumbed down to unbelievable level. They have attention span of a fruit fly and long term memory of an amoeba. They voted for Clinton because he had a cute smile and a great haircut; then they voted for Obama because their hairdresser said he was hype. By 2012, they will forget about the reform, and by 2016, they will believe it were Republicans who proposed it.

    So here it is again: the country is already lost, stolen from under our feet. Politics is no sport, and sticking to the old book of rules when the other side has long dropped any pretense of following them equals giving up. Our last edge is having more guns, and we will linger until that edge is taken from us, too. Then our children – heck, MY children! – will be looking around before whispering a political joke, passing samizdat prints of 1984 and Atlas Shrugged, and standing in hour-long lines to buy milk and bread. Do you really want it?

  2. Boston Blackie says:

    But the bad news is this may be forced down our throats before we can kick their arzes to the curb.

  3. BIPOLAR DEMS says:

    I, myself, do not currently have health insurance, and that is my choice. Who is Congress to tell me that I HAVE to get medical insurance? Oh, I forgot, you are elected officials that work for ME, along with 300 million other Americans. I choose not to have health insurance, and you have the audacity to tell me that I have to or face penalties. And, I don’t want to even hear the argument that it is for the greater good. I worry about myself and those around me, not those that are uninsured out in Oregon. And by the way, aren’t the Democrats all about “choice” and “civil liberties?” Yep, if I recall correctly, Democrats are pro-choice and all about the ACLU, but I guess choice does not trickle down in this case to an individual’s right to have health insurance or not.

    From…..
    November 6, 11:17 AM Jacksonville Republican Examiner Patrick McMahon

  4. Mike says:

    Rix – you are forgetting that while the benefits kick in in 2013, the taxes kick in in 2010. The other 70% just wont stand for that.

  5. IF COMMON SENSE IS DEAD I WANNA BE says:

    I am ready to deploy with Rix.

  6. Rix says:

    Mike:
    > Rix – you are forgetting that while the benefits kick in in 2013,
    > the taxes kick in in 2010. The other 70% just wont stand for that.

    Won't they? Didn't they stand when income tax, Social Security tax and whatnot were rammed down their throats? We use to think of ourselves as a nation of freedom, while in fact the only thing we are willing to do for that freedom is to bend over and take it.

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