Today President Obama signed into law a package of “fixes” for the healthcare reform bill passed to such uproar this month. Obamacare is not even ten days old, and it’s already starting to cost us more:
Among other things, the “fixes” bill significantly expands health insurance subsidies for lower- and middle-income families while watering down a tax on expensive health policies.
The bill also increases the overall cost of the health care reform legislation to $940 billion over the next 10 years, $65 billion more than the original health care bill Obama signed into law last week.
Expect estimates to keep going up. Even Canada, the country whose healthcare system is so often pointed to as an example of an efficient, government-run system, is now being advised to have an “adult debate” about what the system can accomplish as costs continue to rise:
David Dodge, the past governor of the Bank of Canada and former deputy finance minister … said medicare costs will inevitably rise in coming years at a greater rate than government revenues and the country’s gross domestic product, and require some unpalatable choices to be made.
Choices he suggested include new taxes specifically dedicated for health care or a steady reduction in the scope and quality of services provided by the public health system that would require people to either pay for private care themselves or suffer ever greater wait times for service in the public system.
“These are stark and unpalatable choices that we face with respect to health care, but there is no magic solution,” he said. “We absolutely must have an adult debate about how we deal with this. Finding solutions in this area is extraordinarily difficult, but it is imperative.”
Dodge spent most of his career working under Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. He made these remarks at a Liberal confab. The Canada Health Act was passed by the Liberal Party under Pierre Trudeau. Even Canada’s left-centrists realize that their entitlements could bankrupt the country. America’s seem to have no clue. Perhaps Obama shouldn’t have canceled his Indonesian visit this month to enact healthcare reform—he should have canceled it to take a trip up north to see how federal involvement in healthcare has panned out there.