“If Congress is really serious about reducing long-term deficits, the best path forward is to accept the CBO report for what it is and also set aside PAYGO in favor of real budget process reform. In the meantime, repealing Obamacare is the right step toward reducing the federal deficit and getting health care reform right.”

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“The current Medicaid program is arguably the worst health insurance plan in the country. It has expanded massively beyond the original intent in 1965 and is now one of the two or three largest budget items for nearly every state. In spite
of massive annual increases in spending, Medicaid chronically experiences budgetbreaking costs. Expanding Medicaid, as the new health care reform law requires,
will only compound these problems.”

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“The ACA essentially imposes price ceilings on Medicare payments to providers. These price controls will lead to fewer health care options and lower quality of care for the Medicare population. In contrast, the Rivlin/Ryan approach would affect both the demand and supply side of the health care market – patients would shop and providers would respond. Provision for low-income beneficiaries in the form of health spending accounts could be structured to keep pace with the new system. The more realistic cost savings resulting from the Rivlin/Ryan proposal could be accomplished without the unintended consequences of price ceilings.”

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House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan spoke at an e21 event where he said the true cost of ObamaCare is $700 billion in new deficit spending. “Ryan said this afternoon at the National Press Club that the only reason a Congressional Budget Office letter claims the national health care law will reduce the deficit–i.e. bring in more revenue through tax hikes and Medicare cuts than it spends on Obamacare–is because ‘the books have been severely cooked’–not by the CBO but by the Democrats who wrote the bill.”

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“It’s not hard to connect the dots. The Obama administration is using waivers to reward friends. On the flip side, business executives will be discouraged from contributing to the president’s opponents or from taking any other steps that might upset the White House or its political appointees at HHS. This is not what people had in mind when candidate Obama promised in his acceptance speech in August 2008 to undo ‘the cynicism we all have about government.'”

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“Throughout the debate over health-care reform, Democrats constantly told us (and themselves) that if only they could explain the bill better, Americans would come to understand how good it was for them. So President Obama went out and gave more than a hundred remarks, speeches, press conferences, and town-hall orations. But somehow voters resisted the president’s silver-tongued oratory. The more the president talked, cajoled, and explained, the greater public opposition to the bill grew. That January, voters in Massachusetts sent Scott Brown to the Senate largely on the basis of his promise to vote against Obamacare.”

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“Thanks to Obamacare, the one bright light in many people’s complicated and burdensome health-care spending plans is about to be taken away. That little bit of tax-free medical spending that some of us have enjoyed for years, the health savings plans and the pretax money they provided for over-the-counter remedies . . . cough syrup, saline solution and even toothpaste . . . now will require a doctor’s note.”

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“An early feature of the new health-care law that allows people who are already sick to get insurance to cover their medical costs isn’t attracting as many customers as expected. In the meantime, in at least a few states, claims for medical care covered by the “high-risk pools” are proving very costly, and it is an open question whether the $5 billion allotted by Congress to start up the plans will be sufficient.”

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“The latest Rasmussen poll of likely voters shows that 66 percent of independents support the repeal of Obamacare, while only 30 percent oppose it. Since the Democrats, of course, are the party that passed Obamacare — without a single Republican vote — it’s amazing that independents are even more supportive of repeal than Democrats are opposed to it. Democrats oppose repeal by the tally of only 60 to 37 percent.”

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“It’s hard to know if Democrats are serious about pursuing this course. If so, they are heading down a perilous political path. Here’s why: the more the public learns about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the more they dislike it — and they dislike it plenty right now. In addition, the thinking that continues to animate many Democrats — namely, that the only reason Obama’s health-care overhaul isn’t wildly popular is because of a “communications problem” by the White House and congressional Democrats — is wholly in error.”

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