Jim Himes and the Curious Case of Grade Inflation

January 11, 2010

Jim Himes and the Curious Case of Grade Inflation

Connecticut Dem Gives a Passing Grade to Cost-Hiking Healthcare Monstrosity


Washington- Jim Himes certainly has a generous grading scale when it comes to his party’s ongoing mission to pass a massive increase in taxes and government bureaucracy disguised as ‘healthcare reform.’ Speaking to a town hall in New Canaan this weekend, Himes told a group of constituents that, despite all actual evidence to the contrary, he think his party’s plans are actually pretty good when it comes to cutting costs:


“‘I would give the bill a C on cost reduction,’ he said, adding that the bill is expected to be reconciled with the Senate and presented to Obama by the end of January.” (James Lomuscio, “Himes Faces Tough Crowd in New Canaan,” Stamford Advocate, 1/9/10)


A ‘C?’ Why, that’s a passing grade – a grade one might give a bill that actually makes some effort to cut costs. Does the Democrat health bill actually do that? Let’s ask Himes himself:


“Still, Himes conceded that the bill is weak when it comes to controlling health care costs, ‘and the most legitimate criticism we may have is that we have created an entitlement that over the years will be more expensive.’” (Advocate, 1/9/10)


So the bill is ‘weak’ when it comes to reducing healthcare costs and creates a massive entitlement that will become more expensive over time, but still receives Himes’ seal of approval when it comes to cost-cutting? That can’t be right. This analysis of the Senate’s healthcare bill – the foundation for negotiations for a final product in Congress – from the Associated Press should set things straight:


“Americans would see only a modest rise in health care costs under the Senate’s plan to extend coverage to 34 million people who currently go without health insurance, government economic experts say in a new report.


“The study found that health spending, which accounts for about one-sixth of the economy, would increase by less than 1 percent than it otherwise would over the coming decade even with so many more people receiving coverage.” (“Report: Health Costs Up Slightly under Senate Bill,” Associated Press, 1/10/10)


Just to be perfectly clear: Both Himes and government number-crunchers admit that the Democrats’ massive and messy healthcare legislation will raise costs in the long run. And yet Himes the cost-cutting crusader still gives the effort a ‘C.’ Go figure.


“Jim Himes should go back to school if he thinks that a bill that will increase taxes, balloon the federal bureaucracy, and increase long-term healthcare costs deserves anything but an ‘F’ when it comes to cost-cutting,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Himes is obviously eager to pass his party’s reckless and secretive healthcare agenda at any cost, but he should spare us all the formality of claiming the bill will cut costs when even he admits that it will do no such thing. While Jim Himes is talking out of both sides of his mouth to justify yet another government spending spree, Connecticut taxpayers are hearing one message loud and clear: Brace yourselves – this one will cost you.”