ObamaCare’s Smoke and Mirrors: Huge Costs Paid for by Imaginary Savings

Obama’s health care plan uses imaginary savings to finance massive new spending. His claim that it will not increase the deficit is based on the notion that he can squeeze $2 trillion in savings out of the current health care system to finance his plan’s huge costs.

Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, who once practiced medicine, points out in his column that these savings aren’t real, and that politicians falsely promise to pay for new programs through imaginary savings all the time:

“Obama said he would largely solve the insoluble cost problem of ObamaCare by eliminating ‘hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud’ from Medicare. . . .That’s just an insult to our intelligence. Waste, fraud and abuse as the all-purpose piggy bank for budget savings has been a joke since Jimmy Carter first used it in 1977. Moreover, if half a trillion is waiting to be squeezed painlessly out of Medicare, why wait for health-care reform? If, as Obama repeatedly insists, Medicare overspending is breaking the budget, why hasn’t he gotten started on the painless billions in ‘waste and fraud’ savings?”

Even staunch Democrats admit the president’s claims are questionable.  Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen (D) is criticizing Obama’s health care plan as “the mother of all unfunded mandates,” saying it will force states to massively raise taxes or run big deficits. Earlier, one of Obama’s own economic advisers said his health care plan would explode the federal budget deficit and lead to “crippling deficits” and “higher taxes.”

The Associated Press said Obama’s proposals would “would drive up the deficit by billions of dollars.”  The Washington Post, which hasn’t endorsed a Republican for president since 1952, noted that “the expanded coverage would add more than $1 trillion to the deficit.”