As my piece published this morning by the New York Post details, only 1 percent of the costs of Senator Reid’s new bill would kick in until the fifth year of its alleged “first ten years.” Starting in 2014, 99 percent of the bill’s costs would hit, meaning that its real first ten years are from 2014 to 2023.
In that real first decade, the CBO reports that the bill would cost $1.8 trillion, raise Americans’ taxes by $892 billion, siphon $802 billion out of Medicare, and — if doctors’ pay under Medicare isn’t really cut by 23 percent and never raised back up — would increase our deficits by $286 billion.
On NRO today, Tevi Troy and I suggest a Republican alternative — one that would lower premiums, bend the cost-curve down, reduce the number of uninsured by half, and still be deficit-neutral (without having to cut doctors’ fees to make that deficit-neutral claim). Our proposal wouldn’t raise taxes, would divert hundreds of billions of dollars from already barely-solvent Medicare, and wouldn’t dramatically increase the federal government’s power and control over our health-care system.
By providing a blueprint for real reform — reform that doesn’t mess with anyone’s employer-provided insurance or its tax status –Republicans could more starkly portray the indefensible nature of the Democrats’ already unpopular bills. Americans are thirsting for an alternative to seeing their taxes, premiums, and deficits increase, while their quality of care and liberty decrease. Senate Republicans should give it to them — and now.