I realize that the truth behind Obamacare’s numbers really doesn’t matter to Democrats, and anyone reading this probably is part of my choir, but I’ll continue my almost year-long preaching anyway.
Barack Obama pitches the Senate health care bill as the greatest deficit reduction plan in decades. Democratic Congressman parrot those words in announcing their support for the bill. Neither Obama nor the Democratic Congressmen are so stupid as to believe their own words.
The numbers are phony, and they know it. Obamacare is the equivalent of a Three Card Monte game, and the Democrats have turned the CBO into the witting dealer:
Democrats have so thoroughly gamed the budget process and the Congressional Budget Office’s scoring rules that the official cost estimates of the Obama health plan reveal but a sliver of the legislation’s full cost. The Obama plan would vastly increase the size and scope of the federal government, and increase our already record federal deficit.
To hear Democrats tell it, the CBO projects the legislation would cost a mere $940 billion over the next 10 years. The CBO said no such thing: that figure pertains only to provisions aimed at expanding health insurance. Other spending provisions bring the cost to $1.2 trillion.
Then there’s the additional $208 billion that Democrats plan to spend on physicians who participate in Medicare. Democrats moved that into a separate bill to reduce the apparent cost of the main health care bill. Including that spending in the estimate completely wipes out the Obama plan’s professed $138 billion of deficit reduction. After correcting for that gimmick (and accounting for how the two measures would interact), the CBO estimates really indicate that the Obama plan would increase federal deficits by $59 billion over the next 10 years.
Even worse, Democrats hid another $1.5 trillion by preventing the CBO from scoring the legislation’s hidden taxes. At present, when Congress takes money from workers and gives it to private insurers, the CBO counts that as a tax. The Obama plan’s “individual mandate” would force workers to give money directly to private insurers, which the president’s economic advisers admit is also a tax. If history is any guide, those hidden taxes would cost roughly $1.5 trillion – but you won’t find any such estimate in the CBO’s score.
Read on. It gets worse.
Years from now, when the devastating effects of this delusion are felt, were will you be able to say you stood?
I’ll always be able to say that I stood for fiscal sanity, one of the voices screaming out against the mass delusion and deception.
Unlike the 216 Democrats in the House of Representatives.
Update 3-21-2010: From an op-ed in the NY Times by the former Director of the CBO:
In reality, if you strip out all the gimmicks and budgetary games and rework the calculus, a wholly different picture emerges: The health care reform legislation would raise, not lower, federal deficits, by $562 billion.