The deficit commission has imploded. Under the Commission’s super-majority voting rules, the commission made recommendations that they themselves cannot agree to send to Congress and force an up or down vote.
It is the Washington Establishment disease: we all agree we must do something about the deficit, but we are going to do absolutely nothing but talk about doing something about it.
Looking at the Commission wide-screen, the Commission’s complete avoidance of dealing with ObamaCare was it’s primary downfall.
Levin explains this head-in-the-sand fatal flaw of the deficit commission:
“I agree with Veronique that the deficit commission’s failure to take on health care—i.e., Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid—is reason enough in the end to oppose its proposal. The overall proposal has some promising ideas in it, and the fact that an administration-appointed commission would take the deficit and debt problem seriously is a very good sign. But in the end, their desire to avoid doing much on health care leaves the overall package sorely lacking.
“The entitlement crisis is the deficit and debt crisis, and the entitlement crisis is above all a health-care cost crisis. Obamacare would make it worse by both creating a huge new open-ended entitlement and putting the government in the middle of the health-care sector in a way that will result in immense inefficiency and so exacerbate the cost problem and undermine the quality of care. There is simply no way to fix our deficit and debt problem without undoing Obamacare and dramatically reforming Medicare and Medicaid (along the lines that Alice Rivlin and Paul Ryan proposed to the commission).
“Obamacare itself cannot just be reformed, because it is deeply rooted in exactly the wrong idea about how to control health-care costs. Medicare and Medicaid exist to provide access to health insurance to two populations that often cannot readily obtain it on their own. They have changed our health-care sector for the worse by their sheer size, poor design, and inefficiency, but their aim is to provide these two populations with access to coverage. Obamacare is designed to transform our health-care sector. It would provide government-funded or subsidized insurance to many millions of people who already have private insurance (along with many millions who do not), and would transform the way the private insurance and health-care markets operate in an effort to impose price controls to contain the growth of costs. It puts into practice the notion that the way to make health-care financing more efficient is to make it a centralized system managed largely by the government, so that the only way to really squeeze costs is to tighten price controls.”