The Corner

Klein vs. Ryan

Ramesh — just a couple more points on that Klein post:

1. Against Ryan’s argument that the CBO score for the first ten years of Obamacare only counts six years of costs, Klein uses the same defense Xavier Becerra tried to use at the summit. “According to the Congressional Budget Office,” Klein writes, “the bill cuts the deficit far faster in the second decade than in the first.”

But as I pointed out last week, CBO prefaced its estimate by stating, “A detailed year-by-year projection for years beyond 2019 . . . would not be meaningful because the uncertainties involved are simply too great.” Beyond a certain cutoff, we’re just making guesses about the bill’s effect on deficits.

2. Klein tries to address Ryan’s argument about the doc fix by giving a policy answer to a political question. Yes, we should fix the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate. But Ryan’s whole point is that we won’t — Congress is trying to circumvent it again, right now at this very moment, and would be succeeding if not for the Bunning hold. Yet the CBO score assumes that we will, and this subtracts $371 billion from its estimate of Obamacare’s cost.

Add your point about double-counting, Ramesh, and it seems clear that — despite giving it a very good try — Klein has failed to rebut Paul Ryan’s argument, which is that Obamacare will be substantially more expensive than advertised.

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