How convenient: New ObamaCare plan too vague to score

President Obama plans to hold a “bipartisan” health-care summit Thursday, and today the White House rolled out a new health proposal for the occasion. The administration says the compromise between the House and Senate bills will cost $950 billion over 10 years but will somehow reduce the deficit by $100 billion over that time and by $1 trillion in its second decade.

That’s right: a $1 trillion deficit reduction over 10 years, a 10-fold increase from the first 10 years.

Want to know what the scorers at the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office think? Too bad — the White House delivered its plan so late, and with so few specifics, that CBO says it won’t be able to evaluate the new scheme by Thursday.

Aw, shucks. What an unfortunate coincidence! And if you believe that, I’ve got a no-deductible, no-premium, no-co-pay insurance plan I’d like to sell you.

The White House cooked up this summit as a last chance to take back the political high ground from Republicans on health care, after months of negative public reaction to Democrats’ various proposals. The fact that the president wants Republican input only on ways to tweak his plan around the edges, nothing more, is sign enough that he merely seeks the appearance of having listened to the GOP before he proceeds to shove his plan down Congress’s, and Americans’, collective throats. A serious discussion could wait until the new plan has at least the CBO’s stamp of approval, much less reviews by other third parties.

But maybe this will backfire: If Republicans needed a reason not to get caught up in Thursday’s trap summit, they could find it in the futility of discussing a plan with nothing more rigorous than an Obama “trust me” behind it.

47 comments Add your comment


February 22nd, 2010
5:06 pm

The idea is to get ideas from others. Bi-partisan means two sides talking. That would require that the Democrats and the Republicans talk about, discuss, debate, think, and – oh how I hope – find a compromise.

Your attitude, little boy, is confrontational rather than open. But, of course, you are a conservative and Republican apologist. So, I fear confrontation is all one can expect.

Kyle Wingfield

February 22nd, 2010
5:13 pm

AF: When the president says the discussion will start with his plan, with Republicans invited merely to nibble around the edges, that’s not much of a discussion and there isn’t much prospect of a real compromise.

The administration seems to have confused “compromise” and “capitulation.”

The American People

February 22nd, 2010
5:20 pm

Down With Dems In 2K10!!!!!!

Kyle Wingfield

February 22nd, 2010
5:21 pm

As a reminder, and for those who haven’t read the comments under my last two posts…be mindful of the following:


LA, dewstar and whoever else piles on from time to time: Consider this a pre-emptive warning:

The pointless bickering and name-calling has once again risen to intolerable levels. I have been a little slack in policing it lately because I’ve been spending a lot of time at the Legislature and away from my computer. With a two-week break from the session starting today, I am going to tighten things back up.

The first instance of name-calling will result in a one-week ban. Responding to name-calling, or celebrating someone else’s ban, will also result in a one-week ban.

I am mostly talking about pointless, irrelevant trash-talking which LA and dewstar specialize in…but I reserve the right to act on any other excessive bickering.

There has been a good bit of substantive exchange in between the taunts, and that’s what I want us to focus on here.

You have been warned.


February 22nd, 2010
5:27 pm

The White House cooked up this summit as a last chance to take back the political high ground from Republicans on health care, after months of negative public reaction to Democrats’ various proposals.

The White House didn’t “cook up” this summit at all. As you should know Kyle, such a summit–on C-Span–was House Minority Leader John Boener’s idea. But since the GOP won’t take yes for an answer, for the benefit of political gain, they’re now referring to their own proposal as “political show.”

With regard to the deficit reduction numbers, the Senate HCR bill was scored to reduce the deficit by $132 in the second in the first decade and $1 trillion in the second decade. Yes, that’s nearly a 10-fold increase. Have a problem with it? Take it up with the CBO.

The House bill was scored to provide even more deficit reduction. Now, since Obama’s proposal is a merging of the House and Senate bills, simple extrapolation should tell us that it would save at least as much as what the CBO scored on the senate bill, but less than what the CBO scored on the House bill.

How does an HCR bil costing $950 billion over 10 years somehow reduce the deficit by $100 billion over that time and by $1 trillion in its second decade. Now you’re just playing dumb, Kyle. For the benefit of your readers, whose ignorance you rely on, both House and Senate HCR bills save more than they cost–that’s how they reduce the deficit. Obama’s proposal, a combination of the two, contains numerous cost containment measures, cuts in Medicare and mandates being among them (Republican proposals until Obama supported them).

Some days I like the hell out of Wingfield, but on others, he just strikes me as just another political hack. Frustrating.


February 22nd, 2010
5:31 pm

Oops. I was typing while the warning was being posted. I hereby rescind my “political hack” assertion. In my defense, I’m not mean spirited–just angry at what appears to be deliberate misinformation.


February 22nd, 2010
5:38 pm

This new plan will basically be the Senate version with a few added bells and whistles. From what I have heard today, it does remove the provision to provide free medicaid to Nebrasks, but still gives unions a $60 billion exemption on high end health plans. It also appears all the tax increases in the Senate plan stay in place, although it says the majority will be paid for by cost reductions and elimination of fraud and inefficiencies.

There is a new provision however. There is wording which suggests they may apply the Medicare tax to capital gains and dividends.

The more frightening thing, however, is that because this will be done under the reconcilation rules, future changes to the plan can be passed with a simple majority. They will have skirted the entire spirit of the super majority rule.

Kyle Wingfield

February 22nd, 2010
5:47 pm

One not-so-small correction about who had the summit idea, CJ: Boehner and the Republicans asked for this *last May* but were refused. Obama floated the idea of the summit that is to take place Thursday in an interview with Katie Couric this month.

And the reduction in spending has always been based on the idea that Congress would cut Medicare spending, which, CBO always cautions, won’t necessarily happen.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

February 22nd, 2010
6:01 pm

I think Chauncey has never proposed anything specific enough to be scored. I think he sang a song, “Dance a Little Sidestep” in the musical, “Best Little Warehouse in Texas.”


February 22nd, 2010
6:02 pm

Here is the link to the pdf that was put out by the White House today if anybody wants to take a look for themselves (11 pages):

This link is to the main page of the White House website that covers this proposal:

This link provide a bullet-point list of Republican ideas included in the President’s proposal:


February 22nd, 2010
6:05 pm

Part of Obama’s cost plan includes an increase in income tax revenues due to companies giving raises because of the savings they will get as insurance rates go down. For those who will have their capital gains and dividends taxed, they will have to pay the full tax which is now shared with their employer.

I think if this passes with these assumptions, this will be as close to pure fraud as you could ever get.


February 22nd, 2010
6:08 pm

The two main things the republicans have wanted from day one were Tort reform and the ability to buy insurance across state lines. Neither are addressed in this plan.

Kyle Wingfield

February 22nd, 2010
6:17 pm

Right, Jess. The Republican ideas included in the Democrats’ plans are pretty far down the GOP’s list.


February 22nd, 2010
6:27 pm

Right off the site that I just recommended, under the “Republican Ideas” menu item:

Advances medical liability reform [i.e., tort reform] through grants to States: Provides grants to States to jump-start and evaluate promising medical liability reform ideas to put patient safety first, prevent medical errors, and reduce liability premiums.

Notice that one main thing that Dems wanted was the Public Option–it ain’t there.


February 22nd, 2010
6:41 pm


Sounds like the tort reform you describe bears no resemblance to what the Republican’s want. The way to reduce premiums is to limit the absurd awards many juries are now handing out. Liability caps is what they are looking for, and regardless of what some naysayers have said, it is working in Texas. A byproduct is that Texas has seen a huge influx aof Doctors from other states.

Transportation Vote Now...

February 22nd, 2010
7:03 pm

I’m finally glad we are compromising and ready to help millions of american get necessary coverage.


February 22nd, 2010
7:08 pm

Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country (25.2 percent). Well done.

Texas health insurance premiums (not to be confused with medical malpractice liability premiums) haven’t dropped a penny since tort reform was implemented there, nor has the rate of growth in health insurance premiums been curved relative to other states without tort reform. In short, tort reform is a scam.

However, despite the complete ineffectiveness of such “reform” in states that have implemented it, there it is in Obama’s health care proposal (asking states to implement liability caps of their own and giving them grants to evaluate the ineffectiveness of them).


February 22nd, 2010
7:22 pm


A congressman from Texas being interviwed a couple of days ago said insurance rates have begun dropping in Texas, and they expect to see greater results in the future, as more claims go through the courts resulting in lower judgements.


February 22nd, 2010
7:38 pm

If the Congressman from Texas is telling the truth, then he’s referring to medical malpractice liability insurance rates (probably intending for people to confuse generic “insurance rates” with health insurance rates). Otherwise, he’s lying.

Health insurance preimums have not begun dropping in Texas. To the contrary, they’re up over 90 percent since 2000.


February 22nd, 2010
8:44 pm

Kyle, I was late commenting on the other post on your NCLB comment. I was wondering if you can tell me the difference between the Federal takeover of education that you appear to be at least somewhat in favor of and the Federal takeover of healthcare? I don’t see the difference and am opposed to both. What say you?


February 22nd, 2010
8:51 pm

51 votes beats 49. Screw that fillebuster bs.


February 22nd, 2010
8:57 pm

Here’s the question that NO one has yet to answer:

A patient purchases a health insurance policy in MS…but is based in NY; patient discovers he has cancer….and goes to Sloan-Kettering for treatment. The policy underwritten in MS is limited to pay MS rates….so not only does the patient have to pay the 20% deductible, HE ALSO has tp pay the differential!! How is bankruptcy not avoidable if the cost of treatment is 150K and the insurance only covers 50K?

Second part: Same patient purchased two policies…same scenario…but the insurance companies argue over which one is PRIMARY…and NEITHER pays!!!

Say it wouldn’t happen?? WRONG!! It does….every day!!

What needs to be created is a BASELINE HMO that’s a single-payer system and the insurance companies fully cover major medical and catastrophic coverages!!

Those who continue to argue for tort reform: if a JURY makes the award due to the determination that a wrong was done, discovered, and adjudicated…by limiting that award, aren’t you DENYING a person’s right and ability to seek REDRESS? Aren’t you superceding the JURY and placing one’s personal decision above the right to be heard by a jury of one’s peers??

Insurance rates in Georgia are UP 20%….and with tort reform! That’s only a profit motive for the insurance companies….but a gross denial of one’s rights!!


February 22nd, 2010
9:22 pm

When/if the GOP rules then they can vote how they want. Till then pout.


February 22nd, 2010
10:23 pm

Totally right on this one. The WH plays the game of vagueness that wins a couple of sheep, until the CBO gets the some data going. Offering the olive branch plays out like “the carrot and the stick”, and pretty soon the votes go out on “hope” with no evidence to back up and protect the “buying public” (or should we realistically say the “sold out” public). It’s a game of ill will — and needs to be exposed ASAP (again) — as the modis operandi of this administration; not only UNETHICAL but SICK. Charlatans, hocus-pocus, un-American.


February 23rd, 2010
12:17 am

If one is to believe the numbers of un-insured spouted by politicians And they would never lie to us!) they claim 40 million so if you were to somehow believe that it’s about 12% of the population, why do the other 88% of us have to change what we are doing (and polls overwhelmingly are against Obama’s plan)? I’m perfectly happy with the plan I have for me and my family and so are most of the people I know, This was the biggest reason given for healthcare reform when first proposed but of course now it’s called “insurance reform” with various other talking points included. Kinda liked global warming is now climate change since no one was falling for the BS and terrorists are now insurgents.


February 23rd, 2010
12:34 am

Obama the agent of “change” promised to eliminate earmarks numerous times in his campaign yet as usual caught once again: From Citizens against government waste (should be bookmarked by every legal citizen, or better still just by those who actually pay federal income taxes you know that 51%) here are some on the tip of the iceberg:
# $3.8 million for the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy in Detroit;
# $1.9 million for the Pleasure Beach water taxi service in Connecticut;
# $1.8 million for swine odor and manure management research in Ames, Iowa;
# $380,000 for a recreation and fairgrounds area in Kotzebue, Alaska;
# $143,000 for the Greater New Haven Labor History Association in Connecticut;
# $95,000 for the Canton Symphony Orchestra Association in Ohio; and
# $71,000 for Dance Theater Etcetera in Brooklyn for its Tolerance through Arts initiative. and not to be outdone the government is issuing a 20 million dollar grant to Pakistan to develop a children’s TV program!!!!
(check out government grants for much more waste)


February 23rd, 2010
4:41 am

Kyle and Jess, the White House proposal actually does end the union exemption. Also, the Democratic bills do provide for the sale of health insurance across state lines, albeit with much tighter regulation than Republicans would prefer.

retired early

February 23rd, 2010
7:55 am

You want GOP leadership. They opposed Social Security, Medicare and the civil rights amendment. How many of those Tea party goers you think DON’T have health insurance. My self employed friend pays $19000 a year for he and his wife for a high deductible policy. How far will that $5000 tax credit offered by the GOP go in helping them. The GOP proposals are not true solutions. Go ahead without them.


February 23rd, 2010
8:17 am

Tort reform and the ability to buy insurance across state lines.

These are not cost-saving ideas. Tort reform with regard to insurance claims has already been tried in Texas and other states, with no reduction in insurance premiums or medical costs for consumers.

Buying across state lines? Do firms like MetLife, Aetna, United Healthcare ring a bell with you? They do business in all states. If there were massive savings to be realized from buying insurance from a firm in another state, don’t you think we would have heard about it? The only net result of the “buying across state lines” plan would be to remove state regulation and replace it with federal regulation.

These two ideas are Republican bugaboos. They contain no reform, but they sound like real innovation to the ignorant. Of course, tort reform would allow the Republicans to strike a blow at the trial lawyers, at the cost of forfeiting the rights to redress of people who have suffered horribly because of medical malpractice. And “buying across state lines” is pure nonsense to anyone who knows anything about insurance. I ask the advocates of such a policy to cite concrete instances in which an insurer provides real cost savings to consumers from operating in another state. The truth is that these advocates can’t.

Road Scholar

February 23rd, 2010
8:37 am

So Kyle , President Obama’s proposal is vague on detail. If the proposal was totally detailed, then you might have a point. So are the conserves too stupid to add detail, refine what is proposed, or even delete some of the content, or will they just whine? From what I’ve read, tort reform in Ga and Texas has not reduced healthcare costs. Good discussion above on points to be debated.

I would also like to see health care coops in states to be endorsed to put presure on large companies and spur competition. Now what is bad about competition?

Kyle Wingfield

February 23rd, 2010
8:47 am

Skeptic: Of course there are companies that operate in numerous states. But they don’t offer the same plans in each state because each state has different mandates that they have to meet. The point is that someone in NY, which has lots of mandates, should be able to buy a plan from Kentucky, which has fewer. “Anyone who knows anything about insurance” ought to know the difference.

The idea that more government regulation will fix this problem is crazy. Current government regulations are directly responsible for the system’s Byzantine and Balkanized nature.

(And no, that’s not a call for zero regulations…just for us to focus on removing what’s bad rather than piling up more bad and hoping to get good.)

Kyle Wingfield

February 23rd, 2010
8:49 am

Road Scholar: Everyone knows that a substantial part of the health-care debate relates to cost. If the president says the discussion is to be about his plan, but there’s no verification of the cost estimates, there’s no real discussion about cost…and thus no real discussion about health legislation.


February 23rd, 2010
8:50 am

for a year WE THE PEOPLE have been offering this administration the opportunity for a clean slate–they keep rejecting OUR proposal. *f* them and the donkey they rode in on. david axelrod said obama is going forward on health care in the interest of his legacy. obama’s legacy doesn’t mean squat to the majority of americans. it’s america’s legacy that resonates with her people. the dems are done! never again will they be given the opportunity to SCREW THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. they can kiss jackboot arses goodbye!


February 23rd, 2010
8:50 am

It is my belief that if the Health Care plan is modeled after the Canadian version would fare much better than that of the UK. I have had troubles with Health Insurance companies in the past…I believe that most conditions are pre-existing…everything is pre-existing in my point of view. That is just a loop hole that companies want to have so that they do not have to pay…

Kyle Wingfield

February 23rd, 2010
8:51 am

chuck: Here’s the difference for me: NCLB sets a standard but does not prescribe how to get there. The Democrats’ health legislation goes far beyond that.

Like I said on a different thread, I don’t think NCLB is perfect. Far from it. But that is the direction in which we have to move.


February 23rd, 2010
8:56 am

The last information I saw on Medical Costs ranked Texas with one of, if not the lowest procedure costs in the country. Generally speaking the costs are lowest near the outstanding clinics in Minnesota and Florida. There are studies on Medicare costs available.

The simple fact, proven over the last 2 years, is that the current President is a liar of the highest degree. Nothing Obama says can be believed and this “summit” is nothing more than a dog and pony show devoid of substance.

Eliminating ear marks, transparency, and bi-partisanship are just three of the lies. If Obama is truly the leader of his party then perhaps he should inform Pelosi and Reid of his promises and stop the “elections have consequences” type of taunting these two seem to relish. Of course as long as Obama continues along the path of “say one thing and do another”, he will be ineffective.

The Democrats are attempting to create a Social Democrat state and eliminate capitalism and the free market, a political agenda that has always produced failure. The Democrats only care about power and control over the lives of the people and anyone who supports them must be devoid of self-esteem and motivation.


February 23rd, 2010
9:08 am

Obama is indeed signing the death warrant to the democrat party. He is also sealing his own fate in becoming a one term president.

Yes we can….no wait…..hey where is everyone going………


February 23rd, 2010
9:08 am

“It is my belief that if the Health Care plan is modeled after the Canadian version would fare much better than that of the UK”

And yet…..Canadians continue to come to the USA for surgery.


February 23rd, 2010
9:09 am

“What needs to be created is a BASELINE HMO that’s a single-payer system and the insurance companies fully cover major medical and catastrophic coverages!!”

Insurance companies will go bankrupt under the Obama plan.


February 23rd, 2010
9:10 am

“Down With Dems In 2K10!!!!!!”

So……the solution is more RINO’s who will act like democrats??????


February 23rd, 2010
9:13 am

“So are the conserves too stupid to add detail, refine what is proposed, or even delete some of the content, or will they just whine?”

Nope, conservatives want to leave it to the private sector. Government IS the problem. Government has driven up costs, added more regulation and caused more and more problems.

Government THEN has to add commissions to tackle previous commissions in order to fix what was never really broken.

Bottom line: Democrats always want government to fix government problems that were created by government.


February 23rd, 2010
9:15 am

“the White House proposal actually does end the union exemption.’

LOLOL!!!!!!! Best lie ever.


February 23rd, 2010
9:16 am

If more people were sane like the good people at the NY Post I might consider moving there.

Prez’s newest idea: Simply outlaw reality

WASHINGTON — In cluded in President Oba ma’s latest stab at health-care reform released yesterday is one of the more astonishing admissions of political deception in recent memory.

After months of swearing that his health legislation would lower the skyrocketing costs of insurance premiums, Obama finally acknowledged that actually it would not.

So, instead, he has included a new provision that can simply outlaw premium increases his administration deems “unreasonable and unjustified.”

This, in lieu of literally years of promises and proclamations about transforming the American hospital-industrial complex in a way that would drastically lower the cost of medicine in this country and leave insurance companies scrambling to lower the premiums they charge customers.

Baghdad Bob

February 23rd, 2010
9:24 am

The money for healthcare was there until we poured it all, (every penny) down a hole in the Iraqi desert sand. They’ve got all the healthcare they want.

What are we left with? Well, America has plenty pea(brained) tardies in the Tea Party. They’re so easily amused that they will sit through an entire evening with Glenn Beck’s mugging AND Ann Coulter’s dry skin.

Beck should not be banned, he should be given mime classes. Coulter should cut her hair and donate it to balding horses.

Aw, I don’t wanna talk about it. Kyle still doesn’t understand how most of the trolls are one or two people with different aliases AND IP adresses. Why is that over the blog-hosts’ heads?

If Kyle wants to clean up this blog, then he should do what Cynthia Tucker did: ban the m-word, the r-word, and all p-words. That covers the depth and breadth and height of the very heart and soul of the visiting Bookman troll’s rapier wit (that nobody can keep up with).

Bookman is the AJC equivalent of the wicked witch of the west sending her flying monkeys to raid Dorothy and the other three, (and her little blog, too). What is wrong with that child? He coddles, hell, he encourages trolls. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s a troll coddling clod.

But you take away his trolls, and whaddya got?






February 23rd, 2010
9:49 am

ObamaCard, ObamaCard,
Can’t wait to get my ObamaCard.
Man I’m gonna hit it hard,
When I get my ObamaCard.
Go to the doc everyday,
When I get my ObamaCard.
And never have a bill to pay,
When I get my ObamaCard.
I won’t have a single care,
When I get my ObamaCard.
I’ll even get the pill to grow my hair,
When I get my ObamaCard.
If I trip and stub my toe,
When I get my ObamaCard,
To the ER I will go,
When I get my ObamaCard.
And I better not have to wait,
When I get my ObamaCard.
Or the docs will be sending me a rebate,
When I get my ObamaCard.
Docs will have to cater to me,
When I get my ObamaCard.
And I’m gonna get SEEN FOR FREE!!
When I get my ObamaCard.


February 23rd, 2010
10:20 am

This would be laughable if it wasn’t so disgusting So, Let’s Recap “2009″………what a year!

1. The American people inaugurate a half-Arab president with a total of 142 days experience as a US Senator from the most politically corrupt state (city) in America whose governors have been ousted from office. The President’s first official act is to order the close of Gitmo and make sure terrorists civil rights are not violated. (honest mistake?)

2. The U.S. Congress rushes to confirm an Attorney General, Eric Holder, whose law firm we later find out represents seventeen Gitmo Terrorists. (An honest mistake?!)

3. The CIA Boss appointee, Leon Panetta, has absolutely no experience, has a daughter Linda, we find out, who is a true radical anti-American activist and a supporter of all the Anti-American regimes in the western hemisphere. (There were socio-economic factors involved!)

4. We got the second most corrupt American woman (Pelosi is #1) as Secretary of State; bought and paid for.

5. We got a Tax Cheat for Treasury Secretary who did not properly file his own taxes for 12 years. (He misspoke!)

6. A Commerce Secretary nominee who withdrew due to corruption charges. (Another honest mistake???)

7. A Tax cheat nominee for Chief Performance Officer who withdrew under charges. (Hmmm… Another screw-up?)

8. A Labor Secretary nominee who withdrew under charges of unethical conduct. (Ok, maybe this person was just plain stupid.)

9. A Secretary of HHS nominee (Daschle) who withdrew under charges of cheating on his taxes. (I’m running out of excuses for these idiots!!)

10. Multiple appointments of former lobbyists after an absolute campaign statement that no lobbyists would be appointed. (Dear God, I am getting a headache!)

All this occurred just during the first three weeks. . . But who’s counting? America is being run by the modern-day Three Stooges ; Barry, Nancy and Harry and they are still trying to define stimulus…”it’s spending!!!”

The congress passes the $800,000,000,000 (that’s $800 billion) pork-loaded spending bill where the government gives you a smidgen of your tax dollars ($13 per week), making you feel so good about yourself [stimulated], that you want to run out to Wal-Mart and buy a new Chinese-made HDTV! Pray for our country.

Here’s the good news though – Obama took Air Force One to Denver to sign the stimulus package, wasting as much as 10,000 gallons of fuel OR 24 JOBS FOR ONE YEAR. Don’t you just love hypocrites?

Obama went to the International Olympic Committee to have them choose Chicago for a host city, he failed.

Obama went to Copenhagen to lecture them on global warming, he failed.

Obama went to New Jersey to promote the Democratic candidate for governor, he failed,

Obama went to Virginia to promote the Democratic candidate for governor, he failed.

Obama went to Massachusetts to promote the Democratic candidate for senator, he failed.

Speaking of praying, Obama has now been president for a full year and yet he & Michelle, the Christian family they claim to be, have not attended church since the inauguration.

Obama is the 1st president in history who did not attend any Christmas religious observance. He must miss Reverend Wright!

And finally, he is the 1st president to remain on vacation after a terrorist attack.

In these times ‘I’ll keep my God, my freedom, my gun and my money. Anyone that supports this insanity can keep “THE CHANGE”

AND NOW, there are bloggers supporting the surrender of another 16-17% of our economy to these clowns in the “Health Care Reform”! THIS IS INSANITY!

Why would anyone trust this Administration and this Congress with even your lunch money – throw all these lying, corrupt, ego-maniacal, theiving, bums out to the street at the earliest opportunity, November 2010!

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