Sunday, January 3, 2010

RFD Warning - The Magic of Numbers

There is a huge debate going on in our nation over the Obama/Pelosi/Reid health care plan (OPRcare). In the debate cost and benefit numbers have been loosely thrown around by both sides. The Watchman calls them magic numbers. They magically can be whatever they want them to be, and change in a twinkling of the eye. Magic! Unfortunately the outcome we are likely to get is a health care law rammed down the throats of Americans without a clue as to the true cost or real benefits!

A CBS news article points out some interesting numbers related to OPRcare: Five Health Care Promises Obama Won't Keep
The President Could Be Close to Achieving Health Care Reform, but Not with All of his Campaign Promises
21 Sept 2009 By Stephanie Condon

Various think-tanks and the CBO has cranked out assessments of OPRcare bills now before congress. None of the proposed laws:
* Reduce the deficit - BHO criteria
* Reduce annual individual costs by $2,500 - BHO criteria
* Cover all citizens - BHO criteria
* Specifically forbid coverage of non-citizens - BHO criteria
* Protect middle class citizens from tax increases - BHO criteria
* Guarantees pre-condition coverage at SAME cost - BHO criteria
* Guarantees portability between jobs and locations - BHO criteria

So the question remains just what are we getting once the back-room deals are finished being cut and some kind of Frankenstein law is actually signed by BHO?

Other interesting numbers: Obama promises audits - sites that monitor BHO's progress on promises made in the 08 campaign.
The Obameter
The Promise Audit
Obama Promise Watch
Obama Watch
Obama Change Index
Tracking Obama's Promises

The first link above, The Obameter, is from the St. Petersburg Times which should have posted a disclaimer of political bias. They endorsed Kerry and Obama and report with a decidedly leftword bent. But their 'truth-O-meter' is the most comprehensive promise tracker out there. (Also kind of pretty too!) Again, their analysis of the data by the site's editors is subjective and biased. They have a category called "compromised" which implies a positive result, yet deeper analysis by others on the so-called compromise often finds significant deviation from the BHO promise criteria. So read this one with a grain of salt. The other linked sites also have their bias. Use all of them as general indicators at best.

The point of this Red Flag Days warning is our congressional leaders have significant mathematical disabilities and choose to use what ever numbers from a mish-mash of sources. In the senate bill, democratic political algebra uses spending cuts in medicare twice to make the numbers come out deficit neutral! In their willful ignorance of common sense and discarding logic, the majority party in congress seems more than ready to simply stir the pot on health care, pour it into a pan, half-bake it, and see what pops out in the end. Magic numbers to delude ourselves. More smoke and mirrors and wishful thinking. Does everyone feel better yet?

© tin cup enterprises 1-3-10

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