Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Because of entitlements

National Review: "Trump's unrealistic budget."  "What is ultimately needed, of course, is long-term entitlement reform. Until Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and our host of other unsustainable programs are reconfigured, the country will continue adding to its debt burden."


Anonymous said...

Vox: Trump just moved the GOP’s health care consensus permanently to the left
It’s a post-Obamacare world, and Republicans are learning to live in it.

Obamacare has permanently shifted America’s health care debate, and Donald Trump’s address to Congress proved it.

In the speech, Trump laid out five principles any Obamacare replacement must meet.

First, “we should ensure that Americans with preexisting conditions have access to coverage, and that we have a stable transition for Americans currently enrolled in the health care exchanges.”

Second, “we should help Americans purchase their own coverage, through the use of tax credits and expanded health savings accounts, but it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by the government.”

Third, “we should give our great state governors the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left out.”

...It’s the first three that show how Obamacare has reshaped America’s health care debate. In those principles, Trump admits that any replacement will have to preserve most of the law’s gains — it will have to cover people with preexisting conditions, provide tax credits to boost affordability, and allow governors to keep the Medicaid expansion’s gains.

...Trump promised tonight to “make health insurance available to everyone,” and his team knows that clip will be devastating if they have to send out cancellation notices to millions.

Consistent with that, Trump’s speech weighed in on the most consequential debate among House Republicans: whether their replacement plan should have tax credits and a continued Medicaid expansion at all. House conservatives believe otherwise, and are already denouncing the GOP plans with those features as “a new health insurance entitlement with a Republican stamp on it.” Tonight, Trump dismissed their concerns, and moved the GOP’s health care consensus permanently to the left.

With Obamacare and Trump’s speech, the debate on health care has moved from whether it should be the government’s responsibility to insure young, able-bodied people to how the government should insure young, able-bodied people, and how comprehensive the insurance should be.

...As consequential as the GOP’s movement on the policy is, the bigger change is that Republicans are now prioritizing health reform. It is unimaginable, absent Obamacare, that a newly elected Republican president would make passing refundable tax credits to increase insurance coverage his top priority.

...It’s not clear there’s any bill that could fulfill Trump’s principles and secure enough support from conservatives to clear the House. Any bill that did make it through the House would probably be too conservative for a critical number of Senate Republicans. And any bill that somehow satisfied Republicans in both chambers would still require eight Senate Democrats to become law, as the insurance regulations can’t be passed through budget reconciliation, and so the GOP will need to break a Democratic filibuster. All of that is unlikely. And if Republicans fail, they are left managing Obamacare.

Roger Bournival said...

Entitlement reform won't happen until the Democrats get on board,- NR ought to know that. The Dems went nuclear apeshit when Bush tried to privatize a whopping 2% of Social Security back in 2006 - how do you think they're going to react to Trump doing anything like that? Worse than they're reacting now, if that's possible.

Anonymous said...

The Dems went nuclear apeshit when Bush tried to privatize a whopping 2% of Social Security back in 2006

And how'd the market do in 2008...? I'd say history has vindicated nuclear apeshit.

Privatized safety nets, concurrent with a scorched earth approach to regulatory oversight? What's NOT to like!

Eric2 said...

Yes, that would have been a horrible investment for those Americans retiring 2 years later.

As for the rest of us, we could have realized a 75% return on investment. Thank heaven the government had the wisdom to hold on to those funds for a nice, safe 1% ROI.

Anonymous said...

Fun Fact: There are fewer safeguards preventing another sudden financial collapse today than there were on January 1, 2008.

The "there are some big winners, and some big losers, but on the whole the market always goes up" philosophy is inapplicable to a guaranteed safety net. (But then, that stated philosophy isn't the real philosophy the dismantlers want to see come true.)

You wanna gamble with Social Security? The necessary first step is taking Wall Street's dick out of one's ass. And who was going to do that: Trump or Hillary? McConnell or Schumer? Obama or Romney? Bush or Kerry? Kennedy or Nixon?

Pathetically, 1% is a better ROI since 2008 than most bank accounts have had. Gee, I wonder why no one at the Federal Reserve does something about that.

Eric said...

Really? You're the one who threw out the "look at that two-year return" quip and now you're going to swivel to "it's social insurance"? Fortunately, we can always be blessed with the constant that we cannot let people have control of their own money. That might lead to the heartache of 75% returns in 10 years.

OK, you don't want Wall Street involvement? How about this: personal accounts where you must invest in Treasury bonds at a 2-3% return (depending on terms) that can be passed on to survivors after death? No, we can't do that either, because darn it we just can't trust Americans. They might spend it on sugary drinks in Philadelphia.

And, for the record, I was being generous with a 1% return: http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20150303/FREE/150309976/social-securitys-negative-returns