The President has whined that opponents of health care reform employ scare tactics to describe proposed legislation’s effects. But as Democrats have gotten incrasingly desperate to pass something that resembles health care legislation, the President has taken to using scare tactics of his own. The latest is his warning while on ABC News was that “the costs of Medicare and Medicaid are on an ‘unsustainable’ trajectory and if there is no action taken to bring them down, ‘the federal government will go bankrupt.'”
This is a point that fiscal conservatives and libertarians have been making for years. Indeed entitlement programs–Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid–threaten to gobble up more and more of the federal budget and push taxes higher and higher. It’s scary stuff.
The problem for the President is that the proposed legislation fails to change the “trajectory” of these programs. Robert Samuelson has written a lot about this topic of out of control health care costs and how these proposals fail to get at the root of the problem.
And in fact, given what we know about government entitlement programs (that they always end up costing more than is expected) and the basic fact that this legislation would create a new health care entitlement, adding millions of people to the government’s role, it’s likely that the proposed legislation will make the problem much worse.
It’s not the message the President is trying to convey, but it’s truly scare stuff.