Saving money, government style

On my “magical mystery tour” through the health care bill being sponsored by Sen. Dodd (D. Ct.) I came across a provision designed to save both the government and you money. This is good, I thought. Saving money will reduce the ever growing federal deficit, and, what the heck, if it saves me money, too, well, I certainly won’t complain.

So, I decided this provision was definitely worth studying.

Title III, Subtitle A, Section 302(a) provides as follows:

It is the purpose of this section to establish a Prevention and Public Health Investment Fund to provide for expanded and sustained national investment in prevention and public health programs to improve health and help restrain the rate of growth in private and public sector health costs.  [emphasis supplied]

Should you care to read this yourself, you can go to page 351 0f the Affordable Health Choices Act.

What will it cost us to save money, you are no doubt asking?  Well, you need look no further than Section 302(b)(2) which provides,

There is hereby appropriated…(A) for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2019 $10,000,000,000 and (B) for fiscal year 2020 and each year thereafter and amount not less than the amount appropriated for fiscal year 2019.

If you are like me, you are no doubt rubbing your eyes right now, and counting zeros to make sure you understand what this provision says.

But, it gets worse.  Subparagraph (3) (B) provides that,

Amounts appropriated under subparagraph (A)…shall not be taken into account for purposes of any budget enforcement procedures…of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act…

Bottom line, no “pay go” here.  We will be spending $100 billion over the course of the next 10 years, and who knows how much thereafter, to “restrain the growth of health care costs”, whether we can afford it or not.  Sounds like a savings plan only the government could invent.

3 replies
  1. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    So where is the "affordable" part again? P.J. O'Rourke had it right: if you think health care is expensive now, wait until it is free."

    Reminds me of the Family Truckster salesman in National Lampoon's Vacation: "If you think you hate it now, wait until you drive it!"

  2. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Seems to me that either we pay for health care with taxes or insurance premiums (though employers get to write their part off). Calling anything we get free is a way to try to get a laugh.

  3. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    I read this and I think of the old Marx Brothers bit about the contracts and the infamous "insanity clause" ("you can't fool me! There's no such thing as a sanity clause!"

    Watch and laugh!

    Do you get the feeling that this is how these Congressional committees operate behind closed doors?

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