- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 18, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Senate version of the Democrats’ health care reform plan has been reported as costing more than $1 trillion and, in some cases, as much as $2 trillion (“House Democrats confident of passing reform,” Politics, Friday). I am at a loss to find the government-funded benefits that come anywhere close to the estimated cost of the Senate bill.

Of course, many benefits under the bill will be covered by private insurance companies, but when one excludes the cost of those benefits and considers only the government-funded benefits, something does not seem to add up. Perhaps the most significant government-funded benefit appears to reside in subsidies that would be paid to eligible Americans who currently cannot afford health insurance.

But the number of those eligible Americans appears to be relatively small - just 13 million by some reports. Government funds also would pay for elective abortions under the Senate bill, and there may be some increased government spending for some expanded Medicaid benefits. There is, however, no increase in Medicare benefits, which are currently paid for under the long-standing Medicare law. Considering the new government benefits provided for by the Senate bill and adding in a few billion dollars to pay for its administration, the grand total appears to fall far short of the estimated cost of the Senate bill. When you come to think of it, there does not seem to be much in the way of government-funded benefits in the Senate bill. Perhaps The Washington Times can enlighten its readers as to what we are missing.

HARRISON E. MCCANDLISH

Alexandria, Va.

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