Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., released the following statement today as the House of Representatives considered the so-called 'doc-fix' which will add yet another $210 billion to the deficit:
"In what's becoming an incredibly troubling pattern, the House today again voted to add hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit," said Capito. "I suppose after spending $1.3 trillion on a health plan, $700 billion to bailout Wall Street and $787 billion on a failed stimulus package, that $210 billion may not seem like much - but I don't think that's how the American people see it.
"I firmly believe that we need to reform the Medicare payment structure, but we should be paying for it up front rather than shouldering our children with billions of dollars in debt."
What Others Are Saying...
Washington Post: A $300 Billion Deception: "...the House of Representatives is poised this week to blow a quarter-trillion-dollar hole in the federal budget involving, you guessed it, health care.... By the way, don't be fooled by the incredible shrinking "cost" of the fix. The official Congressional Budget Office estimate used to be $245 billion over 10 years. Now it's $210 billion. In fact, the real hit to the budget will be closer to $300 billion.... All of this is, to some degree, Medicare kabuki to placate the American Medical Association... Finding the money to pay for the fix and, more to the point, cobbling together the political coalition to support it, is difficult. Which is why Congress and the administration have joined hands in the pretense that the doc fix has nothing whatsoever to do with health reform." (Washington Post Editorial, November 15, 2009).
WSJ: The $1.9 Trillion Gimmick: "The "doc fix" was originally part of ObamaCare, until Mrs. Pelosi realized that adding a quarter-trillion dollars to the total tab made it difficult to pretend the bill would reduce the deficit. In the "Fiscal Responsibility" section of the press release announcing the separate SGR package, Democrats insist that it will be subject to "the 'pay as you go' principle of budget discipline," which "requires Congress to find a way to pay for any new spending" with new taxes or cuts. The Comedy Central punchline: "A previous Congress established the policy for paying Medicare doctors, so the update for 2010 is not a new policy to be paid for. . . . The Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act would not increase total payments to physicians above what they are today and therefore, would not be subject to the paygo requirement." In other words, under the Madoff school of accounting, Democrats rely on straight deficit spending." (Wall Street Journal Editorial, November 18, 2009).