Saturday, August 8, 2009

Obama: The Economy Won’t Recover Until We Pass Government Health Care

He’s said it before, and it was as absurd then as it is now:

Using better-than-expected jobs numbers to press his top domestic priority, President Barack Obama argued Saturday that overhauling the nation’s costly health care system is essential to the country’s economic well-being.

“We’ve begun to put the brakes on this recession and ... the worst may be behind us,” Obama proclaimed in his weekly radio and Internet address, citing a new Labor Department report that shows a dip in unemployment. “But we must do more than rescue our economy from this immediate crisis; we must rebuild it stronger than before.”

He added: “We must lay a new foundation for future growth and prosperity, and a key pillar of a new foundation is health insurance reform.”

It’s a pitch that comes as the Democratic-controlled Congress wrestles to write a health care plan that meets Obama’s goals of expanding coverage to millions of uninsured while reining in exploding costs.

I’m not sure I’m willing to trust Obama’s economic prognostications. After all, Obama predicted that unemployment wouldn’t go above 8% if we passed his $787 billion in deficit “stimulus” spending (red dots show what unemployment has actually been):

That most recent unemployment number looks hopeful for Obama, but remember that it’s only lower because of the way the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates unemployment. People who have been unemployed for a certain amount of time don’t get counted in the unemployment numbers any more. They’re still unemployed. They didn’t get jobs. They just don’t count any more.

Anyway, Obama’s desired deficit spending on government health care is as likely to be as good for the economy as his deficit spending on the “economic stimulus” was.

The whole idea that government health care could somehow be beneficial for the economy is based on Americans and businesses not having to pay for health care any more. Or not having to pay as much. But remember that government health care wouldn’t be funded by some magical pot of federal money found at the end of a rainbow. In order to give us government health care the government must take taxes from us first. Or borrow more money from China and Brazil against future taxes our children and grand children will pay.

And, again contrary to what Obama and his fellow liberals have to say about it, government-run health care wouldn’t be cheaper than the health care we pay for now. Per-patient spending in the Medicare and Medicaid systems over the last 40 years, per a Pacific Research Institute study, has grown significantly faster than per-patient spending in the private sector. And the government pays a lot more on per-patient health care costs for people on government health care than people in the private sector pay.

What’s more, any government efforts to control health care costs are going to be directed at the amount of health care you use. That means rationing.

Government health care would be a disaster for the economy. Just like the “stimulus” spending spree has been a disaster. Just like “cash for clunkers” has been a disaster.

It’s time we stopped listening to Obama.

By Rob - sayanythingblog