Welcome To The Desert of The Real

The kabuki theater ends and Stupak is as Stupak does. We get Healthcare by a 219-212 margin, whether we were sick in the first place or not. So, since we all get to munch down on this delicious crap sandwich, let’s be honest here and clear up some misconceptions about the particular flavor we can expect. The bill will cost way more than anybody claims and Bart Stupak will get no executive order to protect the sanctity of life. For those of you in the audience who didn’t just utter a disgusted “No Duh,” I’ll provide some supporting details.

First, since anyone still reading survived any abortion attempts aimed at their person, I’ll address the laughable argument that this imperialistic surjection of government is a deficit reduction tool. Quite simply, it is not. We can explain using two scenarios. The first assumes that the CBO smoked something legal while estimating.

In the first scenario, the CBO costs a program that taxes for ten years to pay for expenditures incurred over the final six. This estimate also assumes that consumers relieved of cost pressure will not make immoderate demands of services. It thus holds things ceteris paribus that are about as likely to remain static as liquid water would be when given the opportunity to flow down hill. In other words, the CBO estimate has the stench of disingenuous jury-rigging all over it. But, for sake making a rhetorical point, I’ll except economic assumptions on a par with the physics in the old Roadrunner and Coyote cartoons.

The CBO claims the bill is revenue positive in decades where ten years of revenue are collected to offset six years of cost. So how about decades where ten years of revenue are stacked against ten years of cost? Doing some back of the envelope estimating of my own gives one year of cost requiring 1.67 years of revenue. Or one decade of expenditures requiring 17 program years of planned revenue.

This estimate probably overshoots slightly by double-counting fixed, non-recurring initiation costs. So we’ll be nice and refine this puppy down to fifteen revenue-years for every ten service-years. I could calculate the IRR or a Present Worth for this debacle, but I’d need an Excedrin. Besides, this estimate is WAY too positive to accurately describe what happens in the future with Obamacare.

Now we examine Obamacare costs with an eye turned towards costs from similar programs in the past. The Senate Joint Economic Committee studied the accuracy of past cost estimates for major Federal healthcare programs. The CBO has problems getting these estimates within the right zip code. They gratuitously underestimate.

The study examines six estimates from Medicare and Medicaid programs. These programs include Medicare Hospital Insurance (7.44 : 1), Medicare (entire program) (12 : 1), Medicare ERSD (2.29 : 1), Medicaid DSH ( 17 : 1), Medicare Home Benefit (2.50 : 1), Medicare Catastrophic Insurance ( 2.07 : 1). The ratios in parenthesis indicate the ratio of actual costs to CBO estimates. The Median ratio is 4:97:1. So we’ll go with 5:1 as an estimator of how poorly the CBO performed and try the experiment above again.

Starting with decade 1, we get 10 years of CBO revenue against six years of CBO costs. Using our handy-dandy CBO Estimate Suckage Ratio (CBO-ESR) of 5:1, we get thirty years of actual costs versus six years of CBO costs. That means collecting ten years of taxes pays for 3.33 years of actual program costs. (Again, I’m being a prince of guy here, and only adjusting estimates by the median CBO-ESR instead of the mean).

That means matching fifty years of Obamacare against its programmed tax revenues gives you the equivalent of thirty-five unfunded years of services. So who’s up for buying a portfolio of US Ten Year Treasury Notes? Anyone, anyone, Bueller?

And we close with a brief explanation of the partial birth abortion Congressman Stupak carried out on his own ethical standards. He originally said he was too pro-life to let this bill fund millions of abortions. He got a lobby of like-minded Democrats together and threatened to torpedo the bill. President Barack Obama promised him cover in the form of an executive order to prevent this proposal from funding abortions.

This seems like a rational compromise, except for one minor, clingy detail. Said bill directly calls out where abortions are funded by the monies. Said executive order would have to directly instruct people to violate Federal law in order to satisfy Congressman Stupak’s particular grievances.

Ipso facto, the proposed executive order constitutes an unconstitutional usurpation of authority. The President cannot order his bureaucratic minions to deliberately violate the laws of the land. Lt. Calley never spent a day in prison for murder during his time in Vietnam. He did serve time for the issuance of unlawful orders to American troops under his leadership.

Such an executive order may well constitute grounds for impeaching Barack Obama from his office. Stupak knows this, Obama knows this, and they entered into this sham agreement with full and total knowledge of these potential ramifications. I can therefore conclude that Stupak, Obama, Pelosi and anyone else with IQ > 50 knew full good and well that no executive order would ever fly past the disingenuous lips of the boy we elected President.

So we now have a Healthcare Reform bill that is financially unstable. The CBO is either staffed by morons or deliberately lied to us about the extent that this bill will bankrupt our nation. Or great Pro-Life Democrat, Bart Stupak, reminds us all less of a paladin than The Brave Sir Robin from the Monty Python classic “Holy Grail.” America, welcome to the desert of the real.


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