Tags: healthcare | cbo | pelosi | womens | forum

Higgins: Healthcare Numbers Based on Politics, Not Facts

Thursday, 18 Mar 2010 10:29 PM

By John Rossomando

The much ballyhooed Congressional Budget Office numbers that purport to show Obamacare will shave tens of millions off the federal deficit are a sham, says the chief of a leading conservative women’s group.

Efforts by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership to get the American people to buy into CBO projections their healthcare plan would cost $940 billion and reduce the deficit has hit a brick wall of popular skepticism, Heather Higgins, president and CEO of Independent Women’s Voice and chairman of The Independent Women’s Forum, told Newsmax.TV.

Editor's Note: See the interview with Heather Higgins below

“The fundamental architecture of the bill is something that is antithetical to the fundamental American principles,” Higgins said.

She said the bill’s sponsors believe government bureaucrats ought to control healthcare decisions rather than individuals and their doctors, and they don’t care if cost savings comes at the expense of a decreased quality of care.

Higgins’ sister groups have been in the forefront of the drive to keep the public informed of developments in the healthcare debate and in keeping a feel of the electorate’s pulse on the issue.

According to Higgins, The Independent Women’s Forum and Independent Women’s Voice ̶ groups founded to give a public voice to the views of conservative women ̶ were among the first groups to confront the problems of healthcare reform last year at a time when its easy passage almost was a given.

When asked by Newsmax.TV about whether people buy into the CBO numbers on the healthcare reconciliation bill, she said: “Independent Women’s Voice just did yet another poll ̶ we did polls after Massachusetts; we did polls in the fall of the American people broadly ̶ and at no time do the American people believe the CBO numbers, though they may be accurate with what they have been given, that they are actually reflective of the coming reality.”

Higgins said entitlement programs have historically cost far more than what they had been originally projected to cost.

“There’s a lot of political games being played to achieve numbers that sound more sellable,” Higgins said.

These games include dividing certain aspects of healthcare reform into two separate bills and scoring them separately, and fudging around with the estimated costs and times when revenues will become available.

But Higgins remains hopeful the legislation can still be killed in spite of Pelosi’s desire to pass the bill without an up or down vote, which she calls “the steam and deem rule” because of dissension among Democrats.

“I think it’s important to note that … Mike Acuri of New York, he’s one of the congressmen who has been on our list of votes that we all should be targeting and talking to has announced … that he is not going to vote for this,” Higgins said. “Indeed, there is another Democrat who has said he is extremely uncomfortable with all of the chicanery involved with deeming a bill passed without actually voting on it.

“Newt had this wonderful line that last year they were passing legislation without having read it; this year they are trying to pass legislation without actually voting on it.”

Higgins warned that members of Congress who voted against the healthcare bill last November face an electoral backlash if they change their votes on final passage because of the bill’s unpopularity; however, those who change from a yes to a no could possibly get a reprieve from the voters.

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