by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
National Review’s editors—great Americans all—believe that “it will be difficult to mourn the loss” of the Senate health care bill, if it fails to pass. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I will try to explain in two charts.
The first chart details the two major components of federal health spending: the blue is Obamacare ($2 trillion in coverage expansion less $850 billion in Medicare cuts, for a net total of around $1.2 trillion over ten years), and the red is what Washington was already spending on health care, pre-Obamacare.
The government takeover of health care didn’t happen in 2010. It happened after Barry Goldwater went down in flames in 1964—allegedly a high point for the conservative movement—paving the way for LBJ to pass Medicare and Medicaid. …
… But the Senate bill does historic work to rein in the Medicaid program, putting it on a fiscally sustainable path and reducing its future spending by trillions of dollars. Here is how the Congressional Budget Office projects future federal spending on Medicaid under current law (i.e., Obamacare), and under the Senate bill:
The difference between those two numbers is substantial. Even if the CBO is overestimating the savings—and I believe they are—we’re talking about trillions in spending reductions over the next several decades as our second-largest health care entitlement grows more slowly. That means lower taxes and more economic growth.