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May 12, 2009

Obama: Hey, I've Already Found $215 Billion in Made-Up Bullshit Health Care "Savings;" I'm Pretty Sure Finding the Other $1.785 Trillion Should Be a Snap

Pushing the limits of plausibility, the White House claims that reducing "waste, fraud, and abuse" and other small-bore "reforms" will save $215 billion of the $2 trillion in "savings" Obama needs for his health-care takeover. (At least he needs those savings to avoid massive tax hikes on the middle class to pay for all of this.)

Megan McArdle:

This weekend, I was on a panel where the other economics journalist and I spent a great deal of time belaboring the obvious: Obama's health care plans are very, very expensive, and they mean higher taxes for everyone, not just that elusive klatch of greedy fools who are not in the 95% of working families now allegedly slated for stable or lower taxes. Otherwise, how could Obama hope to pay for it?

I think we found out today: magic!


This is all very well as political theater; politicians convene never-never working groups all the time. But, being perhaps too cynical, I suspect that the announced plan to save $2 trillion is going to be used to sell Obama's healthcare plan as if we'd already found it. Then when oh, darn, the SEIU doesn't agree to hold down wages or eliminate jobs, and pharma ratchets up the average price it charges the private sector to make sure it doesn't lose too much on its mandatory Medicaid discounts, etc, well, we'll all just have to dig into our pockets to pay for it, won't we?

Or, pace the gnomes in South Park:

1. Identify tiny reforms that will never happen and determine to find almost $2 trillion in new "savings."

2. ?

3. Profit!

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