Patterico's Pontifications

8/25/2009

ObamaCare gets dire prognosis from Sen. Russ Feingold

Filed under: General — Karl @ 10:43 am



[Posted by Karl]

At the very least, one of the Senate’s leading progressives knows what his constituents want to hear:

U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold told a large crowd gathered for a listening session in Iron County last week there would likely be no health care bill before the end of the year – and perhaps not at all.

It was an assessment Feingold said he didn’t like, but the prospect of no health care legislation brought a burst of applause from a packed house of nearly 150 citizens at the Mercer Community Center.

“Nobody is going to bring a bill before Christmas, and maybe not even then, if this ever happens,” Feingold said. “The divisions are so deep. I never seen anything like that.” (Emphasis aded.)

In reality, Feingold’s assessment may be as disingenous as his misleading assurances that ObamaCare would not fund abortions.  But he probably would not be floating the notion of healthcare reform pilot programs in five states if he was not a bit worried about the fate of ObamaCare.

The other big topic at this Feingold town hall was the federal deficit.   Concern over the deficit was already shaping the healthcare debate on Capitol Hill.  And the Obama administration’s latest forecast has deficits rising to a level that Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag called unsustainable in March.

Update: Feingold’s rep has his backpedal in motion — but Feingold is still talking about Christmas.  That is far too long for an effort continuing to lose popularity.

–Karl

37 Responses to “ObamaCare gets dire prognosis from Sen. Russ Feingold”

  1. The other big topic at this Feingold town hall was the federal deficit. Concern over the deficit was already shaping the healthcare debate on Capitol Hill. And the Obama administration’s latest forecast has deficits rising to a level that Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag called unsustainable in March .

    Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a wiener!

    While it has been fun to bang away at “Death Panels” and “throwing grandma off of the gurney,” this is where the real eye opening experience will be happening with voters.

    Our Government has proven, over the years, to have no skill whatsoever in predicting the costs of health programs. This is not a partisan issue, it simply is. From Medicare to Medicaid to the VA and the senior prescription drug plan, the costs have skyrocketed far beyond the estimates presented, sometimes as much as a factor of ten (and I readily admit that there may have been just a touch of dishonesty in those projections to begin with.) The CBO’s “unsustainable” meme is the cudgel people should be using to club their representatives.

    While all of the other concerns about private insurance, treatment availability and disproportionate cost cutting are important, Krauthammer had it right when he wrote that the CBO’s report should have killed this porcine lump as dead as a doornail. The very fact that liberals are still fighting tooth and nail for this bill reflect their willful ignorance of the nuts and bolts of managing both a health care system and the country’s finances.

    They want their moral imperative, even if it bankrupts the USA. Let them eat aspirin.

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  2. The Treasury auctions coming up should finally, if anything can do it, put some reality in Obama’s daily brief. I see the present stock market rally as a bear market rally with a collapse next year when the Chinese finally balk at buying more treasuries with no sign of discipline in DC.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  3. It’s also possible that the market’s current uptrend is at least partially related to the downward trend for Obama and ObamaCare.

    Karl (f07e38)

  4. Well, Mike, one wonders if the Mensa group in Washington will finally see the light or will they continue to try and pass deficit bloating and economy killing bills and thus worsen the already abysmal financial situation.

    It is like drinking hemlock to get these bozos to just say “Nope! We can’t afford it!”

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  5. I just listened to a Biden staffer say that Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA were models of efficiencies and controlling costs. And no, his head did not assplode when he said it.

    Did they revise their deficit numbers up or down today?

    BJ – Amen. Racist.

    JD (dca188)

  6. JD, Biden has staffers as dumb as he is? Well, that’s not a surprise …

    SPQR (5811e9)

  7. It’s obvious what the Obama administration must do in this time of dire crisis – fire Douglas Elmendorf, since he didn’t bend to their earlier threats during their private meetings with him.

    Oh, wait – you mean he’s not another independent auditor that they can fire at will? Never mind.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  8. Is there any truth to the rumor that Obama plans on appointing a ‘CBO Czar’?

    Corwin (ea9428)

  9. Conservatives and Republicans in Congress rail against a Public Option for the people they supposedly serve, the citizens of the United States. But then:

    “[U.S. Congress] Representatives and Senators alike receive some of the best health care benefits in the country, much of it paid for with taxpayer dollars. Yet these same members seem unable – or unwilling – to extend similar protections to the rest of America.

    Federal Employees Health Benefits Program

    As soon as members of Congress are sworn in, they may participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). The program offers an assortment of health plans from which to choose, including fee-for-service, point-of-service, and health maintenance organizations (HMOs). In addition, Congress members can also insure their spouses and their dependents.

    Not only does Congress get to choose from a wide range of plans, but there’s no waiting period. Unlike many Americans who must struggle against precondition clauses or are even denied coverage because of those preconditions, Senators and Representatives are covered no matter what – effective immediately.

    And here’s the best part. The government pays up to 75 percent of the premium. That government, of course, is funded by taxpayers, the same taxpayers who often cannot afford health care themselves.

    More Health Care Perks for Congress

    And the Congressional perks don’t stop with the FEHBP. According to the article “Health care as good as Congress gets,” by John Barry, a staff writer for the St. Petersburg Times, “Members of Congress have their own pharmacy, right in the Capitol. They also have a team of doctors, technicians and nurses standing by in case something busts in a filibuster. They can get a physical exam, an X-ray or an electrocardiogram, without leaving work.”

    Although members pay extra for these services – Representatives pay about $300 per month, and Senators about $600 – taxpayers end up kicking in another $2 million. That’s $2 million not being spent on those who need it.

    House and Senate’s Health Care Legacy

    Despite the services that members of Congress receive at the taxpayer’s expense, they’ve done little on behalf of those who cannot afford or cannot get health care. The Oakland Tribune article “Congress’ wild health care ride” (January 7, 2008) reports that Congress’ attention is instead focused on the financial well being of pharmaceutical and insurance companies.

    To illustrate this point, the article states that, according to the Medicare Reform Act of 2004, Medicare is prohibited from negotiating with pharmaceutical companies for lower prices. However, not only is this negotiating power available to governments in other industrialized countries, it’s also similar to the power granted to the FEHBP, which itself is permitted to negotiate premiums and prices.

    It’s true that the U.S. Congress is talking up health care reform, but members of the House and Senate – both Republicans and Democrats alike – take millions of dollars in contributions from the health sector, which includes health providers, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies

    In the meantime, millions of Americans are receiving inadequate health care, and millions more could lose their health insurance at any time. Those who’ve managed to maintain their insurance have seen their rates go up and their deductibles rise. Many end up medically bankrupt. Yet throughout all this upheaval, one thing has remained steady – the health care coverage afforded members of Congress. If they’ve proven nothing else, they’ve shown taxpayers that they know how to take care of themselves.”– source, suite101.com

    Apparently a ‘public option’ is good enough for Congressional conservatives and Republicans but bad for We the People.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  10. Apparently, DCSCA is still flogging the falsehood that Congress’ menu of private insurance is a “public option”.

    Typical of what we’ve learned to expect from the International Man of Parody.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  11. I’m still waiting for the Golf Czar. Oh, and possibly the “Bare Arms Fashion Czar.”

    Woo-Hoo! Look at me!! I’m Czar craaaaaaazzzzy!!!

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  12. So DSCSA came back to this silly meme, again? How many times does it have to have it pointed out that a public option and the private plans afforded the congresscritters are not the same thing? This one has to be intentionally dumb, as it is simply inconceivable that it does not notice the beating it takes every time it posts the same lies over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Seek help, DSCSA, or go back to the place with the padded walls.

    JD (8090f1)

  13. DSCA:

    The obtuse: It is strong in this one padawan.

    One more time, Teh Dense: Your tax dollars are paying the ginormous premiums of a private insurance company that has custom designed the Jessica Beil of health plans for all of the Congress critters.

    Oh and, Teh Dense: Have you looked and seen how many Demcocrats have ducked the whole “sterling health care for thee but public option for me” questions?

    I tried to type this slow …

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  14. Dggcrpp still thinks Rush’s armpits smell bad.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  15. It’s really embarrassing to live in Barack Obama’s third worldy America of debt and diminished horizons. If since that dirty socialist loser took office our little country hasn’t allowed itself to become a weak and debased craphole of a nation it’s definitely shown itself to be willing to learn.

    1.5 trillion dollar deficits two years running. What a bunch of skanky losers we are.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  16. The International Man of Parody went to the trouble of cut and pasting that … but did not go to the trouble of actually, you know, reading it.

    Hilarious.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  17. It’s disgusting.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  18. SPQR – So, on top of its abject idiocy. It is stealing a trick from Biden and plagarizing? Nice.

    JD (cbe522)

  19. Apparently a ‘public option’ is good enough for Congressional conservatives and Republicans but bad for We the People.

    Comment by DCSCA

    Do you not understand, meaning you are stupid ? Or are you simply posting something passed along to you by your leftist friends ? Or was that something from a seminar ?

    Do you even understand that the Pharma industry is SUPPORTING Obama’s program, whatever it is ?

    We need a better class of trolls.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  20. I don’t know if we can even classify it as a Troll any longer – more like the communal village idiot. Kind of our own court jester, it comes along to provide fodder for mockery and jeering.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  21. Well, yea, Dmac.

    But not even Teh Dense has reached the nadir of another troll who previously listed as one of his problems with our current Health system “insurance companies engage(ing) in legal profiteering.”

    OMG! Making profits is legal? lulz!

    Is it just me or is this debate getting dummberer and dumberer?

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  22. But not even Teh Dense has reached the nadir of another troll

    Au contraire – you may not be aware of the Village Idiot’s past claims to fame:

    – met Von Braun in his underwear in his dorm room hallway;

    – worked at NASA on rocket propulsion systems;

    – worked at Enron at the same time while dealing in energy futures (both located in Houston, you know);

    – peddled newspapers whilst a young lad in Britain during Thatcher’s rise to PM; also heckled Tories in support of her policies;

    – played kickball with the US Embassy in Moscow (no, I have no idea why);

    – served time in secret CIA assassination operations in Latin America;

    – served time in the SEALS (naturally);

    – claims to be a journalist of some high standing, but we’ve never been able to find out just what it’s actually published of note.

    There are actually more, but the VI presses on with his many varied and amazing exploits. Just ask him, he’ll tell you all about it.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  23. Hey, Dmac:

    I missed the SEALS business. Did he really lay claim to that program? I missed that one!

    “The World of Commander McBragg,” indeed!

    I did notice that he stopped the Walter Mitty posts.

    I think that there was something about owning a fleet of vintage Jeeps, and several homes on the East Coast.

    Oh well.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  24. Don’t forget he worked for SeeBS!

    JD (b279d0)

  25. Reid’s message sounds like a feint: nothing to see here folks, the debate is over, move along and pay us no more never mind. We’ll just go back behind our curtain now and, er, do responsible things; yeah, that’s it, responsible, boring things.

    Uh huh.

    The protests are having their effect on wavering Dems. Take them away, and ObamaCare comes racing back, which is probably Reid’s strategy.

    ras (20bd5b)

  26. happy, that’s not the half of it. Optimistic projections is spending 9 trillion more than taken in during the next decade.

    rls (e58293)

  27. From the Heritage Foundation:

    — The White House underestimates future budget deficits by trillions of dollars by (1) assuming that discretionary spending will be frozen to inflation for the next decade, (2) assuming that cap-and-trade revenues will be available to finance a Make Work Pay credit (the House-passed bill allocates those revenues elsewhere), (3) assuming health care reform will be deficit-neutral, and (4) assuming certain tax increases that are unlikely to be enacted.

    rls (e58293)

  28. #28- From the Heritage Foundation:

    — The White House underestimates future budget deficits by trillions of dollars by (1) assuming that discretionary spending will be frozen to inflation for the next decade, (2) assuming that cap-and-trade revenues will be available to finance a Make Work Pay credit (the House-passed bill allocates those revenues elsewhere), (3) assuming health care reform will be deficit-neutral, and (4) assuming certain tax increases that are unlikely to be enacted.

    Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill was told “deficits don’t matter” when he warned of a looming fiscal crisis.
    O’Neill, fired in a shakeup of Bush’s economic team in December 2002, raised objections to a new round of tax cuts and said the president balked at his more aggressive plan to combat corporate crime after a string of accounting scandals because of opposition from “the corporate crowd,” a key constituency.

    From Dick Cheney: ‘Deficits don’t matter…’

    O’Neill said he tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits-expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone-posed a threat to the economy. Cheney cut him off. “You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don’t matter,” he said, according to excerpts. Cheney continued: “We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due.” A month later, Cheney told the Treasury secretary he was fired. Source: [X-ref O’Neill] Adam Entous, Reuters, 1/11/04

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  29. The Obama dirty tricks squad is in action now.

    Surprising no one, except by the fact that they are so clumsy in their attempt to fake TeaParty “violence”.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  30. Great catch, rls.

    SPQR – That would be funny, if it weren’t sad.

    JD (241e9b)

  31. SPQR: After reading that link, I am reminded of the “long knives” excuse, the Poland invasion excuse, the Manchuria invasion excuse. As someone brighter than me once said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

    When truth and the facts are not on your side, lie bigger. This has been the mantra of leftist-statist tyrannists since the beginning of time. And thuggery has always been a trump card for leftist-statist tyrannists. The New Black Panthers intimidating people away from Phila polls on election day and the authority refused to prosecute? Come on. All these leftist thuggery acts and nobody is willing to take-down the RICO dons? At least for the next three years, I can only expect things to get worse.

    Hopefully, enough people will have their heads forcibly removed from their nether regions before next November to cause a great sea-change. And hopefully, enough true conservatives run as counters to the extreme leftists that the sea-change makes a real difference.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  32. I’m gonna come out of the closet (sort of) here:

    I actually like ole Rusty.

    I mean,I’d never vote for him, but he’s always been his own man, and I can’t help but admire that. He’s probably the last person on the left that hasn’t been assimilated into Obama’s Borg-like cult, and that counts for something. And he actually responds to challenges on his positions by defending his position rather than (just) ad homenin counterattacks.

    Say, isn’t he up for re-election next year?

    Sean P (3928ec)

  33. John Hitchcock, the Democrats whine about nazi references from LaRouchites, blame Republicans for it and then try for a Reichstag fire.

    You can’t write comedy like this.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  34. “It’s also possible that the market’s current uptrend is at least partially related to the downward trend for Obama and ObamaCare.”

    Beyond possible. it’s a lock.

    We had a wonderful happening this summer — the Summer of Patriots. Patriots came to protests and townhalls and stopped the Obama machine.

    Akin to stopping Hitler or napoleon in moscow or stalingrad, Obama covred a lot of territory but ended up beyond his supply lines and in a battle of attrition finds his agenda without needed support. This has FUNDAMENTALLY RESHAPED the future trajectory of American politics in the Obama era. Obama may indeed revive and pass something he can call an accomplishment, but the ground-shaking earth-shifting realignment that the liberals were hoping for is NOT supported by the 60% of Americans who are not liberals and hardcore Democrats. There will not be a New Deal II or massive Great New Society, you can put the LBJ and FDR analogies back on the shelf. Obama is stuck between Carter (choose one-term liberal incompetence) or Clinton (choose political face-saving triangulation).

    Market watchers and political prognosticators are now observing the probability of a GOP rebound in 2010. Now the Obama agenda is known, quantified, and the bounds of it assessed, the smart money is able to predict accordingly – as Obama goes down the market will go up, and vice versa.

    Travis Monitor (e991bc)

  35. “O’Neill, fired in a shakeup of Bush’s economic team in December 2002, raised objections to a new round of tax cuts”

    The tax cuts worked, they helped improve the economy massively and the cap gains ones paid for themselves. O’Neill was therefore WRONG. Bush was right to fire him on that basis.

    Travis Monitor (e991bc)

  36. A note of clarification because my post was a bit vague, next November is the November immediately following this November.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)


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