Friday, February 26, 2010

Paul Ryan: Health Care Gimmicks Smoke Mirrors Ponzi Scheme (Video Transcript)

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) used Obama's own stats to show the deception, gimmicks, smoke and mirrors, and a Ponzi Scheme in the Democrat health care bill. Video and transcript below.

 Paul Ryan

Gimmicks, smoke and mirrors, double counting and out-and-lies characterize the legislation that President Obama clearly indicated will be passed by reconciliation, if he can find the votes to do so.

Don't miss the point that at least one item has been removed from the current bill because it costs $371 billion dollars. By removing the $371 billion from the bill, $371 billion is absent from the deficit. But the $371 billion will be approved by the Senate in a stand-alone bill. In otherwords, there is major deception going on. An item is stripped out, but passed on its own - to make the deficit appear to be less by $371 billion.

This deception also happened in the smaller jobs bill passed this week. Senator Harry Reid cut the legislation from $80 billion to $15 billion, but he plans to pass some of the costlier cuts through stand alone bills. Reid's double-dealing is nothing short of deceit - or how about treason? "Treason" is an act to harm or kill sovereignty, or the betrayal of a trust and a breach of faith. Make no mistake about it, the financial carnage coming our way because the Obama administration refuses to tamp-down spending, in fact, by design is purposefully escalating spending, puts our sovereignty in jeopardy. The stand-along bills, which we generally never know about, is a betrayal of trust and confidence.

Watch Obama's face in the video, especially beginning about half-way in. A transcript follows the video.

Rep. Paul Ryan Pointa out Smoke and Mirrors in Obama's Health Care (video)

Begin Transcript:

Look, we agree on the problem here, and the problem is health inflation is driving us off the fiscal cliff. You said health care reform is budget reform. We agree with that. Medicare right now has a $38 trillion unfunded liability. That's $38 trillion in empty promises to my parent's generation, our generation, my kids generation.

Medicaid is growing at 21% this year. It is suffocating State's budgets. It is adding trillions in obligations that we have no means to pay for it.

In September when you spoke to us in the well of the House you said I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits either now or in the future. Since the CBO can't score your bill because they do not have sufficient detail, but it tracks very similar to the Senate bill. I want to unpack the Senate score a little bit. If you take a look at the CBO analysis, analysis from your Chief actuary, this bill does not control costs, this bill does not reduce deficits. Instead this bill adds a new health care entitlement, at a time when we have no idea how to pay for the entitlements we already have.

Let me go through why I say that. The Majority Leader said the bill scores as reducing the deficit $131 billion over the next 10 years. First a little bit about the CBO. I work with them every day. Very good people. Great professionals. They do their job well, but their job is to score what is placed in front of them, and what is front of them is full of gimmicks and smoke and mirrors. Now what do I mean when I say that? First off, the bill has 10 years of tax increases of about one-half trillion dollars, with 10 years  of medicare cuts of one-half trillion dollars to pay for 6 years of spending. What's the true 10 year cost of this bill? In 10 years it is $2.3 trillion. It does a couple of other things. It takes $52 billion in higher social security tax revenues and counts them as offsets, but that is really reserved for social security. So either we are double counting them or we are not planning to pay those social security benefits. It takes $72 billion and claims money from the Class Act, that's the long-term care insurance program. It takes the money from premiums that are designed for that benefit and instead counts them as offsets. The Senate Budget Committee Chairman said this is a Ponzi Scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud.

Now, when you take a look at the Medicare cuts, it essentially treats Medicare like a piggy bank. It raids a one-half trillion dollars out of Medicare...not to shore up Medicare solvency, but to spend on this new government program.

Now when you take a look at what this does, according to the Chief actuary of Medicare, he is saying as much as 20% of Medicare providers will go out of business or stop seeing Medicare beneficiaries. Millions of Seniors who have chosen Medicare Advantage will lose the coverage they now enjoy.

You can't say that you are using this money to extend Medicare solvency and also offset the cost of this new program. That's double counting.

When you strip out the double counting and what I call the gimmicks, the full 10 year cost is a $460 billion deficit. The second 10 year cost of this bill has a $1.4 trillion deficit.

I think the most cynical gimmick in this bill is something we all probably agree on. We don't think we should cut doctors 21% next year. We've stopped those cuts from happening every year for the last 7 years. We all call this the Doc Fix.

Well the Doc Fix, according to your numbers, cost $371 billion. It was in the first iteration of all these bills, but because it was a big price tag, and made the score look bad, it has been taken out of this bill and is going along in stand-along legislation. But ignoring these costs does not remove them from the backs of the taxpayers. Hiding spending does not reduce spending, so when you take at look at all this, it just doesn't add up.

I'll finish with the cost curve. Are we bending the cost curve down or bending the cost curve up? If you look at your own Chief actuary at Medicare, we're bending it up. He's claiming we are going up $222 billion, adding more to the unsustainable fiscal situation we have.

When you take a look at this, it is deeper than the deficits, or the budget gimmicks or the actuarial analysis. There really is a difference between us. We've been talking about how much we agree on different issues, but there really is a difference between us. It is basically this: we don't think the government should be in control of all of this. We want people to be in control. At the end of the day, that is the difference.

Now we've offered lots of ideas all last year, all this year. We agree that the status quo is unsustainable. It's got to get fixed. It is bankrupting families, it's bankrupting our government it's hurting families with pre-existing conditions. We all want to fix this, but we don't think this is the answer to the solution, and all the analysis we get proves that point.

I'll respectfully disagree with the Vice President about what the American people are, or are not, or whether we are qualified to talk on their behalf. We are all representatives of the American people. We all do Townhall's meetings. We all talk to our constitutients. And I've got to tell you the American people are engaged. If you think they want a government takeover of health care, I would respectfully submit, you are not listening to them. So what we simply want to do is start over, work on a clean sheet of paper, move through these issues step by step, and fix them, and bring down health care costs and not raise them.

End transcript

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