Worst Case: $170 per year, Health Care Reform

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scale-ass-elephant.jpgI heard Sen. David Vitter (La.) and other Republicans at a TownHall last Friday on C-Span threaten their Republican constituents with a $239 Billion Deficit (over 10 years) as the cost of Democrats' Health Care Reform public option. So, I pulled out my calculator. 239 billion, divided by 10 years, divided by 140 million tax payers, comes out to $170 per tax payer, per year, in increased taxes, and voila!. Universal health care coverage and no deficit required.

But, even if this cost is accrued as a deficit, that 239 billion dollars will be paid for by an increase in federal revenues resulting from a more robust economy than the Congressional Budget Office assumes, based on current economic conditions. In the last century, all of the deep recessions have been followed by robust economic recoveries.

If David Vitter is intent on reducing the deficit, then why does he brag on his website about securing 2 million in federal dollars for the ARS Sugarcane Research Laboratory? Why does he brag about securing $1.14 million for human nutrition and obesity research at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center? Why does he brag about securing $150,000 for aquaculture research activities at the LSU Agriculture Center?

Sen. David Vitter railed about the size of federal government and applauded audience members complaining about government intrusiveness into the private sector. Yet, on the Senator's own web site (scroll down) he is promoting government growth in activities, and intrusiveness into the private sector as evidenced by his:

  • Seafood Amendment to the Agriculture Bill requiring government to inspect foreign seafood imports
  • Safety for Schoolchildren Act which calls for the federal government to investigate who local school boards hire for teachers and aides, etc.)
  • Offering his assistance for Louisiana institutions, non-profit organizations, and municipalities in locating and completing applications for federal grant funding

Sen. Vitter was accompanied by Republican Senator John Barrasso (WY) who, pulling out thick stacks of paper representing the various health care reform Committee proposals, said one of his constituents in Wyoming yelled out, "burn it, and "start a bonfire". Barrasso then referred to these thick proposals as unread. If they are unread, then on what basis would anyone call for burning them? This is playing to ignorance.

These theatrics completely lack substance, logic, fact, or useful information. They are designed, as if by P.T. Barnum, to take advantage of that "sucker born every minute". The goal of Republicans has nothing to do with health care. They don't really care about the uninsured, the majority of whom don't vote, anyway. What they do care about is getting back into power after the humiliation of losing it all. To accomplish this, they must prevent Democrats from passing anything meaningful and helpful for the American voters.

They know they can't win against Democrats if voters accept their addressing the pressing issues facing our nation, like bankrupting health care costs and growing numbers of uninsured Americans. It's bad enough the economy is rebounding faster than anyone anticipated just 6 months ago and the stimulus Republicans said wouldn't work, is working, and will continue to work into the 2010 elections. Republicans need to halt these Democratic pluses.

I would bet dollars to donuts, that most Americans, if asked: Would they be willing to pay $170 more in taxes per year for 10 years if, that would provide health insurance coverage for everyone in America, would answer yes.

Which begs, the question. Why aren't Democrats making this argument. Are they too dumbstruck to pull out their calculator and do the math as I have just done? Between the hypocrisy of Republicans like David Vitter and the apparent paralysis of Democrats caused by the Right's entirely predictable campaign to sabotage health care reform, it is hard to see a future where America's problems actually get solved.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on September 1, 2009 10:27 AM.

Bernanke & Kennedy: American Strength was the previous entry in this blog.

Right Lies, But, Is Obama Being Honest? is the next entry in this blog.

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