The Corner

Subject: CBO Made Easy

A memo from McConnell’s office to the media:

The report CBO provided late last night has some interesting information. For example:

The cost curve goes UP

– “Under the legislation, federal outlays for health care would increase during the 2010–2019 period, as would the federal budgetary commitment to health care.” (page 6)

Deficit reduction?

– While Democrats will point to $127 billion in possible deficit reduction, that is made possible in part by delaying the benefits until the fifth year of the 10-year budget window. And even then, the $127 billion is LESS than the deficit that was already spent in October of this year. In other words, any possible savings over 10 years of this bill are already erased by the deficit spending of last month alone.

– And remember, CBO predicts that the 2019 deficit will be $722 billion. So their projected deficit reduction, as uncertain as it is, over the second 10 years won’t erase even the 10th year’s deficit.

Delayed costs

– To make costs appear smaller, major provisions of the plan are pushed back an additional year—to 2014

“Starting in 2014, the legislation would…” (page 4)

Government plan would have higher premiums

– “CBO’s assessment is that a public plan paying negotiated rates would attract a broad network of providers but would typically have premiums that were somewhat higher than the average premiums for the private plans in the exchanges.” (page 9)

Effect of the Medicare cuts

– “Whether such a reduction in the growth rate could be achieved through greater efficiencies in the delivery of health care or would reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care is unclear.” (Page 17)

The basics

– Spending:  The actual spending in the bill is $1.2 trillion and the cost of the bill is $2.5 trillion over 10 years of full implementation (2014-2023).

– Taxes Increases: Taxes will go up $493.6 billion—nearly half a trillion dollars.

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