The Demise of the Omnibus
They almost got away with it, and they may try again.
Congressional Democratic leaders planned all along to basically do nothing during the months leading up to the November election — and then, in a lame-duck session, unveil a bloated, business-as-usual ...
It’s quite a turn of events. The Democratic party has more or less defined itself over the last decade by opposing the supposed irresponsibility of the Bush-era income-tax rates. Now, President Obama has turned his back on the liberal ...
The Implications of Last Night
It’s important to start with the obvious: Yesterday marked the end of the hyper-activist phase of the Obama administration, and that’s no small matter. Republicans picked up an astounding 60+ seats in the House and now enjoy their largest ...
As Charles Krauthammer and David Brooks have already noted, this campaign season has been marked by an unusual degree of Democratic self-delusion. Everything is to be blamed for the current plight of the party except its elected leaders and the ...
The Anatomy of a Hostile Government Takeover
During the long national debate over the future of American health care, President Obama frequently chastised his opponents for launching exaggerated attacks on his plan for “reform.” He took particular exception to the criticism that the changes he was pushing ...
As November approaches, Obamacare’s defenders are quite plainly desperate. They see public opinion solidly against them, and a devastating election fast approaching. Their latest gambit to protect what was jammed through Congress in March is to claim that repeal ...
A Fraud Exposed — and Ignored
“Law Will Extend Medicare Fund, Report Says,” was the New York Times headline. “Medicare Funds to Last 12 Years Longer Than Earlier Forecast, Report Says,” was the similar take of the Washington Post. Those two stories were ...
The Shameless Medicare Propaganda Continues
Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued what it is calling a “report” on the supposed improvements to Medicare passed as part of Obamacare.
The first thing to note here is that this so-called “report” isn’t ...
Obamacare's Political Future
July 1 was a milestone of sorts for Obamacare: It was the 100th day since the president signed the sweeping legislation into law. The Democrats who pushed it through to enactment in the most polarizing debate in years are hoping that ...
The Cowardice of His Convictions
The reason the health-care debate has been so polarizing is that there is a deep and fundamental divide over what should be done to fix the problems in American health care, especially with regard to rapidly rising costs.
On one ...
The Canary in Europe's Coal Mine
In the very short term, Europe may be able to weather the Greek debt crisis and cobble together a program that buys time, stems contagion, and avoids a precipitous downward spiral. That is not at all assured, of course. Indeed, ...
Where's the Administration's Cost Estimate?
The chief actuary for Medicare has released a memorandum providing cost estimates for the final health legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president.
Amazingly, the HHS secretary tried to suggest that the memo confirms that the legislation will ...
Tax Collecting for Obama's Welfare State
Now that the health-care bill has been signed into law, President Obama wants to “pivot” to other pressing issues. But, truth be told, the biggest issue the country now faces is still, in large part, about health care.
The federal ...
Obamacare Will Break the Bank, Not Cut the Deficit
The White House and its congressional allies are trying to suggest that the latest Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate proves that their health-care plan is fiscally responsible.
But, in fact, the latest CBO projections confirm — again — that the president’...
The Democrats' Tangled Web
In 2009, Democrats chose to proceed with a health-care bill under the regular order — that is, they sought to pass the legislation under normal House and Senate rules. They did not put together a budget reconciliation bill with health care in ...
Obamacare Is a Budgetary Disaster
Congressman Paul Ryan’s systematic dismantling of the argument that Obamacare would cut the budget deficit, delivered at the Blair House “summit” meeting, has gotten a lot of attention in recent days, and deservedly so. The Wall Street Journal ran ...
The Myth of 'All or Nothing'
At last week’s Blair House meeting, several Democrats, including Sen. Chris Dodd and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, repeated the standard talking point used by those pushing for passage of a big health-care bill, which is that it is simply ...
Will health-insurance premiums increase from the Senate bill?
As usual, the president is playing fast and loose with the facts.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that premiums would go down in the individual market from the Senate bill for ...
Obama and the Democrats vs. the Voters
The Obama White House and Congressional Democrats are trying to treat the Massachusetts Senate election the same way they treated last summer’s town-hall meetings — by ignoring it.
But it’s very unlikely to work this time around.
Last August, ...
The Dead-End Debt Commission
News reports indicate that the much-discussed Obama Debt Commission will be announced tomorrow, with former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican senator Alan Simpson co-chairing the effort.
Skeptical congressional Republicans are being attacked as obstructionists ...
'Reconciliation' Talk Reveals Democratic Desperation
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and many of her allies outside of Congress have spent the past week trying to convince rank and file Democrats and others that Obamacare need not be dead if only the party had the will to ...
The Last Refuge of Big-Spending Politicians
It’s always where they go. Whenever big-spending politicians want to create the impression of fiscal discipline while doing nothing, or very little, of consequence, they propose a “freeze.”
The Massachusetts vote one week ago sent an unmistakable message that ...
The President Caves In to Union Pressure -- Shamelessly
As a candidate, Barack Obama promised an audacious presidency. If nothing else, he’s delivering on that.
For a year now, the president has argued that the health-care bill he is pushing will “bend the cost-curve.” Of course, his own ...
Rep. Paul Ryan on Health-Care and Progressivism
Congressman Paul Ryan is one of the most knowledgeable and influential Republicans serving in the House or Senate today. He has done the hard work of researching and writing a roadmap to avoid fiscal calamity, which is arguably the most ...
Obamacare: Now Legally as Well as Politically Unstable
The decision on the individual mandate handed down today by U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson in the Eastern District of Virginia makes it clear that Obamacare is on extremely shaky legal ground. That’s fitting, because it’s been ...
The Debt Commission Endorses Obamacare
When the co-chairmen of President Obama’s debt commission released a draft series of recommendations today, they presumably intended to show momentum and create pressure for others to come around to some kind of an agreement.
Press stories are sure ...
Obamacare's Day of Reckoning
All signs point to an electoral rebuke of epic proportions tomorrow for those who sponsored and pushed Obamacare through Congress. That would certainly be just, since, months ago, Obamacare’s advocates decided it was more important to them to jam ...
There’s No Avoiding ‘Repeal and Replace’
Scores of House and Senate candidates are campaigning on a platform of reestablishing limited government. There could hardly be a more encouraging development for our republic. After decades of legislators’ piling countless new programs on top of old ones, and ...
The Assault on Medicare Advantage
The Obama administration has been trying since March to convince America’s seniors that the new health care law will be good for them. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has distributed a mailer to all Medicare beneficiaries ...
Megan McArdle did everyone a favor this past week by very carefully pointing out that Paul Krugman’s over-the-top attack on Congressman Paul Ryan and his “Roadmap” was based primarily on bad information that could have been easily checked and ...
Orszag and Klein vs. Ryan
And so we have finally arrived at the heart of the matter.
In recent days, Peter Orszag, the now-former director of the Office of Management and Budget (he left the position at the end of last week), and Ezra Klein, ...
What Desperate Democrats Do
It’s been a bad stretch for the Democratic majority in Congress.
Their polling numbers have been going from bad to worse. The White House press secretary has openly speculated that House Democrats could lose their majority in November. Nasty ...
Obamacare Is Not Entitlement Reform
White House budget director Peter Orszag stated in February 2009 that “health-care reform is entitlement reform.” As Mr. Orszag prepares to leave the White House this month, it’s clear the health-care-overhaul law that President Obama signed in March falls far ...
Obamacare’s Cooked Books and the 'Doc Fix'
The Obama administration continues to insist (see this post from White House budget director Peter Orszag) that the recently enacted health-care law will reduce the federal budget deficit by $100 billion over ten years and by ten times that amount in ...
The Debt Commission and Obamacare
The president’s debt commission had its first meeting this week, and all of the talk was of getting serious about putting our fiscal house in order, with everything “on the table” for consideration.
There’s no arguing with the ...
The Obama Budget Plan: Taxes and Rationing
Suddenly, the Obama administration and Democratic congressional leaders seem to want health-care news stories to fall off of the front page.
This week, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman abruptly cancelled a high-profile hearing he had called just days ...
White House Divide-and-Conquer-Stupak-Bloc Strategy
One of the options the Democrats are looking at is an executive order to get their last votes.
But this seems highly unlikely to work in any real and enduring sense to change the underlying policy from what’s in ...
For months, one of the primary talking points pushed by the president and his allies in Congress is that their health-care plan would reduce the federal budget deficit substantially, especially during the second decade of the program’s implementation.
The Obama Budget: Spend, Entitle, Borrow
Last Friday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis of the president’s 2011 budget submission to Congress. This report hasn’t gotten nearly the attention it deserves.
When the administration released its budget in early February, the news seemed ...
The Democrats' Contorted and Implausible End-Game
Over the past year, many commentators have noted that the Democratic party has invested so much in the health-care effort that Team Obama would do just about anything to get a bill to the president’s desk. We are now ...
Medicare Advantage Confusion
The president is trying to make it seem like the only cuts in the Medicare program he is advocating are for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. That’s demonstrably not true. The chief actuary has raised concerns about the payment-rate reductions ...
It's Not a $950 Billion Plan
The Obama administration has gone to great lengths to convince the press that the plan the president released on Monday would cost “only” $950 billion over ten years. At the moment, there’s no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate to ...
A Roadmap to Better Health Care
It’s not often that a single member of Congress generates as much media interest and debate as Wisconsin representative Paul Ryan has with “A Roadmap for America’s Future.” But, given the document’s focus and the political moment, ...
Suddenly, bipartisanship is all the rage at the Obama White House.
The president has announced that he will hold a bipartisan gathering on February 25 at Blair House, across the street from the White House, in an effort to get the ...
Quite literally, all talk and no action.
The president says he won’t walk away from health-care reform and he won’t pass onto the next generation a mountain of federal debt.
But there’s no plan to achieve either ...
Speculation is rampant on what will happen if State Senator Scott Brown pulls off an improbable upset and wins the special election for the U.S. Senate seat today in Massachusetts.
Of course, that’s still a big if. Most ...
Doubling Down on the Double Count
Just after the new year, the Obama administration and its congressional allies tried to convince the press that passage of a health-care bill should be relatively easy and quick, because the House- and Senate-passed versions have so much in common. ...
Now that health-care bills have passed in both the House and the Senate, Democrats just can’t seem to stop themselves from rhetorical excess. Just before Christmas, as the bill sponsored by Majority Leader Harry Reid was clearing its final ...