Friday, October 23, 2009

Fool Me Twice - Update

The Congress is at it again.  Will we, like Charlie Brown, keep falling for it?

Maybe not.

Lucy's latest rouse was to pull the so-called 'doctor fix' -- a $250 billion provision to increase the fees of doctors who provide medicare services -- out of the massive trillion-plus dollar Obamcare bill in the House of Representatives and pass it as stand alone legislation.  These Lucillian Legislators are used to the Charlie Brown public being too dumb to realize that two spending bills which add up to a trillion dollars are just as bad as one bill that costs the same amount.

But this time the rouse didn't work.  By a vote of 47-53, the doctor fix legislation got shot down.  Much to the  Watchman's delight, 13 democrats crossed the aisle to vote against it.

The 'doctor fix' legislation is Exhibit A in the case against believing any promise the congress makes about healthcare.  The 1997 Balanced Budget Act was designed in part to control Medicare costs by limiting the dollar amount which Medicare would pay to doctors for treating Medicare patients.  Every year for the last seven years, Congress has passed a bill overriding the cost reductions for that year.  So there has been no cost saving.  Ever.

You see the picture?  In 1997 Congress trumpets the fact that they will balance the budget and then every year since then they rollback their previous work -- their previous promise.  So no matter what they claim will be the deficit neutrality of Obamacare, it will change the following year because congress is as financially unconstrained as a bunch of drunken sailors on liberty.  It makes no difference at all what they say today, because their motto is 'eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die'.

Let's face some facts.  Obamacare is completely analogous to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.  Medicare alone has $89 trillion in unfunded liabilities.  That means the government will need to come up with $89 trillion more than it currently has or even is projected to collect in the future to provide healthcare benefits to the elderly and disabled citizens we already promise to take care of.

It cannot be done folks.  This ship cannot stay afloat as it is, let alone by adding trillions more for Obamacare.    Rather than deck chairs, the analogy is this:  Let's allow the passengers from the lower decks to come up on the top deck to spend their last few minutes having a cup of coffee (healthcare services) before the ship and all her passengers end up at the bottom of the sea.

I know.  We're all tired of the healthcare debate.  It took a lot of energy to write our legislators and show up at tea parties this summer.  We're all tired.  Even the Watchman is tired.

But we aren't the only ones who are showing signs of fatigue.  On Capitol Hill, legislators and staffers alike are worn out.

"The daily grind of delivering floor speeches, holding intra-party caucus meetings and cranking out front-page news stories on healthcare reform has left many on Capitol Hill in a general daze.
Some frustrated staffers walk zombie-like through the corridors of Congress with bloodshot eyes.
One congressional leadership aide, who sneaked away for a rare 20-minute break outside in the fresh air, tossed his hands up, shook his head and vented about playing endless defense against he said/she said “developments” reported by a media starving for any healthcare news."

Now is not the time to rest.  We're winning!  Keep those cards, letters, faxes, and phone calls pouring into Washington DC.

UPDATE:  A further sign that we are winning came this morning with reports that Nancy Pelosi concedes she doesn't have enough votes for a 'robust public option'.

Now that We The People are ready to kick this public option football out of town, Lucy... er I mean Nancy... plans to pull the ball away again.  She's going to hide the public option in a 'trigger' -- a legislative provision that will automatically invoke a government takeover of healthcare if private insurers don't expand coverage fast enough.  Does anyone doubt the 'trigger' language will be written in such a way that it is sure to be pulled?

More and more subterfuge.  More and  more obfuscation.  More and more debt until we're floating in huge lipid pools of inflated, worthless greenbacks.

These people are not to be trusted.  Rather than kick the football out of town, we need to kick Lucy out of town.  The only trigger we need is the one on the Watchman's rifle.

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