The CBO has scored Obamacare version 543–or is it 642?–and it either cuts the deficit, or it doesn’t, is neutral on the deficit, or has no idea. In the latest wrinkle, the CBO says that Medicare fixes–whatever those are–will put the bill in the red. From the story:
Congressional budget scorekeepers say a Medicare fix that Democrats included in earlier versions of their health care bill would push it into the red. The Congressional Budget Office said Friday that rolling back a programmed cut in Medicare fees to doctors would cost $208 billion over 10 years. If added back to the health care overhaul bill, it would wipe out all the deficit reduction, leaving the legislation $59 billion in the red.
The so-called doc fix was part of the original House bill. Because of its high cost, Democrats decided to pursue it separately. Republicans say the cost should not be ignored. Congress has usually waived the cuts to doctors year by year.
Who cares? The CBO “scoring” is all a sham. The office must take the presumptions in the legislation–no matter how rosy–and project years ahead as to what the fiscal impact will be, what the tax collections will be, etc. They do their best, but it doesn’t matter. It’s very rarely accurate and almost always under estimates the costs of these things.
But again, so what? Once the bill is passed, the CBO projections don’t mean a thing.
So, what is the CBO “score” today? It doesn’t matter. It’s part of the legislative corruption, er, process. It’s really all just part of the show.