Republicans Are Lying About The CBO, Health Care Reform and the Deficit

The American Spectator, for those not old enough to remember, was one of the right-wing rags that was part of the vast right-wing conspiracy to go after the Clintons in the 90s with every kind of smear, unfounded gossip and bald-faced lies that could dream up. There is no reason any rational person should believe the rantings of an organization that deals exclusively in character assassination, wild baseless accusations and right-wing spin. They writes about repealing health care reform, BREAKING: CBO Says Repealing ObamaCare Would Reduce Net Spending by $540 Billion ( the link also gives one a look at the genuflecting right-wing bloggers who echo these assertions without doing the slightest bit of fact checking)

The Congressional Budget Office, in an email to Capitol Hill staffers obtained by the Spectator, has said that repealing the national health care law would reduce net spending by $540 billion in the ten year period from 2012 through 2021. That number represents the cost of the new provisions, minus Medicare cuts. Repealing the bill would also eliminate $770 billion in taxes. It’s the tax hikes in the health care law (along with the Medicare cuts) which accounts for the $230 billion in deficit reduction.

Whether the alleged e-mail is real or they have extracted parts of it without some important coveats is up for speculation. The CBO itself says no such thing and the CBO punishes it’s finding to the public on its own blog, Additional Information on CBO’s Preliminary Analysis of H.R. 2

CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have not yet developed a detailed estimate of the budgetary impact of H.R. 2, the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, which would repeal the major health care legislation enacted in March 2010. Yesterday, we released a preliminary analysis of that legislation indicating that, over the 2012-2021 period, the effect of enacting H.R. 2 on the federal budget as a result of changes in direct spending and revenues is likely to be an increase in deficits in the vicinity of $230 billion, plus or minus the effects of forthcoming technical and economic changes to CBO’s and JCT’s projections for that period.

We have been asked to provide the revenue and direct spending components of that total. Extrapolating the estimated budgetary effects of the original health care legislation and accounting for the effects of subsequent legislation, CBO anticipates that enacting H.R. 2 would probably yield, for the 2012-2021 period, a reduction in revenues in the neighborhood of $770 billion and a reduction in outlays in the vicinity of $540 billion, plus or minus the effects of forthcoming technical and economic changes to CBO’s and JCT’s projections.

Republicans are have given their bill to repeal health care reform the inane name Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act. As the CBO reports repeal of health care reform will result in a net increase to the deficit of  $230 billion. Republicans and blog trolls who respond to these numbers are pretty desperate to sound like they know better often citing – without any numbers or evidence, that these numbers are wrong. Without hard facts those claims are baseless lies. The opinions of armchair conservative clowns. The NYT also analyized the  numbers and the CBO report and found that the American Spectator and Boehner(R-OH) are lying. The Job-Killing Health Care Law Act would cost tax payers $145 billion from 2012 to 2019 and by $230 billion between 2012 and 2021. In addition the Republican bill would take away insurance from as many as 54 million American workers. The new Republican House of Representatives have been in power for three days and they are already breaking promises about openness and transparency (from the NYT link) –

At Mr. Boehner’s news conference, reporters peppered him with questions about repealing the law — including the cost analysis and a plan by Republicans not to allow amendments on the repeal measure even though the party had promised to maintain a more open legislative process.

“Well, listen, I promised a more open process,” Mr. Boehner said. “I didn’t promise that every single bill was going to be an open bill.”

Mr. Boehner grew testy when a reporter noted that Democrats who controlled the Senate were unlikely to bring up the repeal measure, let alone support it, and that Mr. Obama could veto it.

“Don’t you think it’s a waste of time?” Mr. Boehner was asked.

“No, I do not,” he said, raising his voice. “I believe it’s our responsibility to do what we said we were going to do. And I think it’s pretty clear to the American people the best health care system in the world is going to go down the drain if we don’t act.”

Boehner and his mindless immoral Republican sycophants are in fact the death panel party. Repealing health care reform will condemn 45,000 Americans to death annually.The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Debunking False Claims About Health Reform, Jobs, and the Deficit

Claims that health reform will destroy jobs by harming the economy are sharply at odds with the findings of leading non-partisan experts. [5]

* House Republicans have charged that the bill will destroy jobs by adding greatly to businesses’ costs.  In fact, health reform is unlikely to raise most businesses’ health insurance premiums.  CBO estimates that it will reduce premiums for employers with more than 50 workers — who account for 70 percent of the total insurance market — by up to 3 percent by 2016.  For small employers, the estimated change in premiums ranges from an increase of 1 percent to a reduction of 2 percent. [6]
* Similarly, Moody’s Analytics says that the Affordable Care Act’s “net long-run impact on the economy will be minor” and that any disincentives from higher Medicare payroll taxes “will hardly make a difference.” [7]  Moody’s also points out that “there is the potential for the new law to reduce ‘job lock,’ when workers stay in a particular job because they are afraid of losing their insurance. . . .  If the bill works as planned, Americans will be more able to switch jobs and open new businesses.”  The result would be a more productive economy.
* The health reform law may also have other positive impacts on the economy.  Expanding health coverage improves health outcomes by helping people obtain preventive and other health services and improving continuity of care. [8]  CBO has suggested that this could enhance the nation’s economic productivity.[9]

 

And a related article – ‘Job-killing’ regulation? ‘Job-killing’ spending? Let’s kill this GOP canard. And here – Harvard Economist Estimates Health Repeal Would Destroy Up To 400,000 Jobs Per Year Over Decade. CBPP also debunks the claims about costs and those baseless accounting gimmicks – ‘

Claim: The law uses a gimmick to make it appear fiscally responsible: its biggest spending increases don’t take effect for four years, so CBO’s cost estimate for the first decade (2010-2019) includes ten years of revenue increases but only six years of significant spending.  The unstated implication of this charge is that in subsequent decades, when ten years of revenue increases are accompanied by ten years of spending increases, the law will greatly increase deficits.

Fact: There is no gimmick here, and this charge is groundless.  CBO estimates that the law will reduce deficits not only over the 2010-2019 decade, but in the second decade and subsequent decades.  In fact, the law will reduce deficits by more in subsequent decades than in the first decade, because its most important cost-saving measures are phased in and produce larger savings over time.

And two separate reports: Health Reform Will Reduce the Deficit Charges of Budgetary Gimmickry Are Unfounded and No Evidence for House Republican Charge that Health Reform Is a “Job-Killer”. Republicans, who as exemplified during the Bush and Reagan years know how to kill jobs better than a an exterminator knows how to kill pests. Taking job creation advice from these guys is like taking nation building advice from Dick Cheney. Perrspectives also has an easy to read run down of the latest round of Pravdaish disinformation disseminated by the Pants on Fire Party, CBO: GOP Health Care Repeal Adds $230 Billion to Deficit. Honor and integrity have never been the Right’s strong suits. Those virtues seem to trip them up at every turn. It has been said we cannot have a strong and enlightened republic with an uniformed citizenry. That seems to be the Right’s major goal.

If Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) is evil socialism than why do so many Republicans want to participate in the version of Obamacare we have set up for members of Congress – Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) Justifies His Government Health Insurance: ‘I’m Actually Lowering’ The Premiums For Older Congressmen

One of the first orders of business in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is a move to repeal the landmark health care reform law that was passed last March. However, following Rep. Andy Harris’s (R-MD) infamous rant about the delay in his congressional health care coverage, the media is beginning to question whether the GOP is hypocritical for decrying the specter of “government-run health care,” yet accepting government-sponsored health care plans for themselves.

For instance, yesterday, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) justified accepting government-subsidized health care for himself because, “God forbid I get into an accident and I can’t afford the operation…That can happen to anyone.” In an interview with ThinkProgress, Rep. Robert Hurt (R-VA) said that he supported congressmen receiving government-sponsored health coverage because “it’s not unreasonable to offer those benefits.” Seven Republican congressmen, however, are trying to remain consistent by opting out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan.

This week, ThinkProgress caught up with Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) to ask whether he would be joining his colleagues in rejecting government-sponsored health care for himself, given his push to repeal health care reform for the nation. Schock told us the “only” reason he would stay on the congressional health care plan because he was “a 27-year-old single male” who was “actually lowering” the premiums of his older colleagues. He also brushed off the notion that this was hypocritical on his part, calling them “completely separate issues,” despite the numerous similarities including taxpayer subsidies and a highly-regulated exchange:

SCHOCK: It is, yeah. I had Blue Cross Blue Shield when I came here as a 27-year-old single male. I paid about $80 a month. And now, because I’m in a risk pool with a bunch of older seniors, my health care costs me $170 a month now for the same Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage. So I think it’s kind of interesting how people make such a big deal out of the health care coverage we have, which is not bad by any means. But I haven’t given it much thought because quite frankly I think I’m helping out the institution by lowering the risk pool for some of my older guys.

TP: I just know there are a lot of people who have made the hypocrisy charge, that there’s an average of $700 per month in taxpayer subsidies on these employee government health care plans, yet saying that the general public is not getting the same types of subsidies and help in buying health insurance for themselves.

SCHOCK: No, I get that argument. The only thing I would submit is because I’m an outlier in the group, I’m actually lowering the…(crosstalk)…When you’re under 30 in a body of…but, so.

TP2: Sir, you receive taxpayer subsidies even though you do have a lower rate. And you’re within a pool that’s highly regulated, as health reform does for the rest of the nation. Don’t you think it’s fair if you’re going to repeal health reform for everyone else, you should at least reject this subsidized, highly-regulated plan that members of Congress and their staff benefit from?

SCHOCK: No, I really actually think they’re completely separate issues.

TP2: Why’s that?

SCHOCK: Because I don’t think what we do with the health care bill has anything to do with what kind of health insurance programs members of Congress pay for.

TP2: No, it’s quite similar. There’s an exchange, there’s subsidies, just like you benefit from an exchange and subsidies, that are paid for by taxpayers.

SCHOCK: Well, I think the bill we voted on is completely different.

Schock cannot be specific about the differences because there are much in the way of differences. he pays for some of his insurance out-of-pocket and tax payers pick up the tab for the other part. Schock sees government as a way to benefit conservatives just as they see government as a way to fill the pockets of business via crony capitalism. Everyone else can get out their hat and try to catch some of the crumbs as they trickle down. If Schocks twisted pretzel logic was not enough – Some Republicans embrace their federal healthcare plans

At least two new GOP members of Congress said they’ll keep the plans some of their colleagues have shunned.

Rep. Joe Heck’s (R-Nev.) office and Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) said they’ll take advantage of the insurance coverage they’re eligible for through the Federal Employees Health Benefits program — the same health insurance available to other federal employees. The plan is not a single-payer system, but offers different private plans from which federal employees can choose.

“What am I, not supposed to have health care?” Grimm told The New York Daily News. “It’s practicality. I’m not going to become a burden for the state because I don’t have health care, and God forbid I get into an accident and I can’t afford the operation.”

But Grimm and Heck would gladly condemn millions of Americans to the emergency room health care plan. You wait until you are in agonizing pain or at death’s door then go to the ER. Everyone ends up paying those bills – being a burden” to the state.

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