January 10 2011
ObamaCare Repeal - The Great "Cost" of Common Sense
The CBO does math, but only with the numbers in front of them. That's why the math on ObamaCare repeal is so messed up. It's up to American citizens to interpret that math using our own common sense and our own knowledge of the policies under analysis.
So, ObamaCare - make no mistake about it - is an expansion of government. It is attempting to provide insurance coverage for about 32 million more people than before. It expands the Medicaid entitlement program to include more people, creates beaucoups of new government agencies, and mandates which pieces of insurance coverage are "essential" to everyone in the United States.
And all this, according to news stories about the CBO cost analysis, is going to save us money. Conversely, the story is that repeal would cost us money. This logic is brought to you by the same people who believe that you can get something for nothing. Only this time they've gone so far as to believe that you can get a whole lot of stuff (more insurance coverage, more health care, more government), and getting all that stuff is somehow going to save us money.
The Wall Street Journal Review and Outlook has an excellent piece that explains the accounting tricks that have been used to misinterpret the CBO numbers. Here's an excerpt:
The accounting gimmicks are legion, but we'll pick out a few: It uses 10 years of taxes to fund six years of subsidies. Social Security and Medicare revenues are double-counted to the tune of $398 billion. A new program funding long-term care frontloads taxes but backloads spending, gradually going broke by design. The law pretends that Congress will spend less on Medicare than it really will, in particular through an automatic 25% cut to physician payments that Democrats have already voted not to allow for this year.
According to the CBO analysis (and I'm not blaming the CBO; I'm blaming the screwy legislation they had to score in the first place), repeal would "cost" $230 billion through 2021. Well, the failure to repeal would be so much more costly - if not in terms of CBO-scored dollars, then in the quality of our health care, American jobs, and personal liberty.