The opinion page of the Wall Street Journal seizes on the news this week about the cost of health care reform. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the health care plan being worked up in the Senate Finance Committee will cost on the order of $1.6 trillion. While the White House made it clear the Senate bill is not the administration's bill, President Obama was banking on a considerably lower price tag in an effort to cover the 50 million Americans currently without health insurance.
An editorial in today's Journal pounces: "This was supposed to be a red-letter week for national health care, as Democrats started the process of hustling a quarter-baked bill through Congress to reorganize one-sixth of the economy on a partisan vote. Instead it was a fiasco.
Most of the devastation was wreaked by the Congressional Budget Office, which on Tuesday reported that draft legislation from the Senate Finance Committee would increase the federal deficit by more than $1.6 trillion over the next decade while only partly denting the population of the uninsured."
The paper predicts how this will all play out: "Capitol Hill's entitlement Democrats are determined too press ahead, despite this cost detour. Still, this week's lesson is that ObamaCare might not be inevitable once Americans figure out the astonishing price tag."