CBO: Budget deficit reduction from ObamaCare “subject to substantial uncertainty”
Once again the Congressional Budget Office is out with a new score for ObamaCare that supposedly shows a cost of $871 and a reduction in deficits of $132 billion dollars over the first ten years of the legislation. That’s what the media is reporting as fact, and while it’s true that the CBO score does say that, the media fails to point out the language that I often point to when estimates for ObamaCare are released.
Here is what the CBO score really says about the budgetary impact of ObamaCare, emphasis mine:
According to CBO and JCT’s assessment, enacting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with the manager’s amendment would result in a net reduction in federal budget deficits of $132 billion over the 2010–2019 period (see Table 1). In the subsequent decade, the collective effect of its provisions would probably be continued reductions in federal budget deficits if all of the provisions continued to be fully implemented. Those estimates are subject to substantial uncertainty.
And as I often point out, this reduction in federal budget, which even the CBO notes is uncertain, is nothing compared to the $9 trillion increase in federal budget deficits over the same period of time.
The Democrats are irresponsibly and disingenuously claiming that the bill would cost $871 billion over 10 years. But that’s not what the CBO says. Rather, the CBO says that $871 billion would be the costs from 2010 to 2019 for expansions in insurance coverage alone. But less than 2 percent of those “10-year costs” would kick in before the fifth year of that span. In its real first 10 years (2014 to 2023), the CBO says that the bill would cost $1.8 trillion — for insurance coverage expansions alone. Other parts of the bill would cost approximately $700 billion more, bringing the bill’s full 10-year tab to approximately $2.5 trillion — according to the CBO.
In those real first 10 years (2014 to 2023), Americans would have to pay over $1 trillion in additional taxes, over $1 trillion would be siphoned out of Medicare (over $200 billion out of Medicare Advantage alone) and spent on Obamacare, and deficits would rise by over $200 billion. They would rise, that is, unless Congress follows through on the bill’s pledge to cut doctors’ payments under Medicare by 21 percent next year and never raise them back up — which would reduce doctors’ enthusiasm for seeing Medicare patients dramatically.
Additionally, the CBO does not measure the impact of ObamaCare on state budgets. Expansion of Medicaid and Medicare will cause many states already facing massive budget problems that much more of a problem. Not everyone can be Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and get the hit to their state budget paid for through a bribe with The Grinch.
In case you’re wondering, the individual and employers mandates still exist and the new taxes on “high-end” insurances plans remain in place.