The Cost of the ‘Doc Fix’
In response to a question from Paul Ryan (as Kathryn notes below), the CBO has now priced out the cost of the Democrats’ health-bill (including the reconciliation bill), together with the cost of the permanent “doc fix” they have proposed. CBO writes: “enacting all three pieces of legislation would add $59 billion to budget deficits over the 2010–2019 period.” That, of course, is without even accounting for all the other gimmicks, empty promises, and implausible offsets in the Democrats’ bill.
Together with all those gimmicks, keeping the “doc fix” separate from the health-care bills they are getting ready to vote on was key to allowing the Democrats to get a CBO score that seemed to keep the bill from raising the deficit.
(As I note below, the memo that Politico posted earlier, which purported to state explicitly that this was the Democrats’ strategy for giving the Blue Dogs cover for voting in favor of such a fiscally irresponsible bill, appears to have been a fake. Memo or not, however, this is clearly their strategy.)