The unsatisfied quenching of the Dem thirst for health care reform continued as the Senate Finance Committee received their vapor score for their vapor bill which had the net effect of discrediting the Congressional Budget Office. U.S. Rep. Shadegg renamed CBO the Cooked Books Office with a stinging post (as in, that's gotta hurt):
Could you make your family budget look good in a ten-year analysis if you counted ten years of income but only seven of expenditures? That’s what the Congressional Budget Office did in their report on Senator Max Baucus’s health care bill.
Their subpar accounting includes revenue from tax increases and cuts to Medicare and Medicare Advantage starting in 2010. However, the bulk of expenditures begin in 2013, when many of the bill’s programs go into effect. It sounds like the CBO has started taking accounting tips from old Enron manuals. How can Democrats be taken seriously if they use ten years of revenue to pay for seven years of expenditures?
Heritage Foundation's Brian Darling weighed in yesterday with his "Where's the Health Bill?" post in Human Events:
As you read this, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and officials of the Obama administration are in a room at the Capitol rewriting health care policy. The American people aren’t invited. Only a few lobbyists, Obama czars and liberal Senators have even been allowed to see this bill.
The Senate is keeping this bill a secret because politicians were shaken by the August town hall meetings and the rage expressed by the American people toward the president’s version of health care reform. So, to minimize complaints now, the administration and Sen. Reid are making sure citizens are shut out of the process.
This isn’t the way your 9th grade civics teacher taught you a bill becomes law. Liberals in Washington should remember that participatory democracy doesn’t end on Election Day....Many call it a “Vapor Bill,” because it’s only a description of legislation. No member of the Committee has seen actual legislation, just a 262-page description. That Vapor Bill never will be voted on in the Senate, so many detractors are calling this a “make believe markup.” It’s to fool people into thinking the Senate is actually crafting a bill.
The Vapor Bill, a bill without any legislative language is the only way the Democrats can please everyone, don't show them the legislative language but tell everyone that their concerns have been addressed. Even CBO couldn't see the legislative language because it doesn't exist, but they still produced their Vapor Score.
There is an old saying in Washington -- let me see the legislative language -- and the Senate Finance Committee has told the American people, every Senator and CBO NO you cannot see the language.
All of this Vapor Bill talk is not falling on deaf ears, as the Associated Press reported yesterday:
Eight moderate Democrats wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., this week asking for any health care bill to be put online for 72 hours along with an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office before the Senate acts. They also want all amendments to be publicly available.
Every American needs to tell their Senator: Vote NO on cloture on the motion to proceed, until CBO gives an accurate score of the legislative language, and to keep voting NO on cloture on the motion to proceed until the bill's legislative language has been posted on the internet for 72 hours.