The Campaign Spot

House Democrats, Out on a Limb for Obamacare, Hear a Snapping Sound

Endangered House Democrat Brad Ellsworth of Indiana, now running for the Senate in Indiana, justified his vote for the health-care bill by declaring:

In addition to meeting my pro-life principles, the plan reduces costs, improves access to affordable insurance options, covers pre-existing conditions, and does not add one penny to the deficit.

Now that it has passed, we learn that it doesn’t do this at all:

Economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department concluded in a report issued Thursday that the health care remake . . . falls short of the president’s twin goal of controlling runaway costs, raising projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years. That increase could get bigger, since Medicare cuts in the law may be unrealistic and unsustainable, the report warned.

(Daniel Foster lays out the ‘duh’ factor.)

Ellsworth and a whole lot of other House Democrats voted against their constituents, and dramatically endangered their chances for reelection, all because they put their faith in the notion that the bill would reduce spending.

Endangered House Democrat Baron Hill justified his vote for the health-care bill by declaring:

This reform version covers more uninsured Americans than the respective House and Senate bills, while also reducing the deficit more effectively. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that the revised bill reduces the deficit by one hundred and thirty eight billion dollars during the first ten years of the program, and reduces the deficit by more than one trillion dollars in the second ten years, effectively making it the biggest deficit reduction legislation since 1993.

Endangered House Democrat John Boccieri  justified his vote for the health-care bill by declaring:

This bill may not be perfect but it strikes the proper balance of reducing costs, increasing consumer choices and lowering the staggering deficit from runaway health care spending.

Endangered House Democrat . . . eh, you’re catching the drift.

Charlie Wilson of Ohio:

I have seen the CBO score and the reconciliation changes for myself. This bill will not add a dime to the deficit.

Suzanne Kosmas of Florida:

The bill before us now represents the single largest deficit reduction in over a decade, saving nearly $140 billion in the first 10 years and over $1.2 trillion in the decade to follow. This legislation provides truly fiscally responsible reform, and it contains the strongest measures ever enacted to help eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in the system, to rein in skyrocketing health care costs, and to stabilize Medicare while preserving benefits.

Melissa Bean of Illinois:

As a fiscal conservative, it was important to me that this legislation benefit not just our physical health, but also our fiscal health. The final legislation approved today delivers the most significant deficit reduction in more than a decade, cutting our federal deficit by $1.3 trillion over 20 years.

Bill Owens of New York:

After studying all the facts, I was presented with a simple choice: Do nothing and further burden our families and entrepreneurs, and allow our costs to spiral out of control, or take the first steps to reform our system in a way that will pay for itself and help America pull itself out of the recession.

Chris Carney of Pennsylvania:

This bill takes critical steps toward providing quality, affordable health care while reducing the cost burden on our hardworking families and small businesses. It does so in a fiscally responsible manner, reducing the deficit by an estimated $138 billion over the first 10 years and an additional $1.2 trillion in the following decade.

In short, just about every vulnerable House Democrat justified their vote by saying the bill would reduce costs and reduce the deficit, and now the Department of Health and Human Services finds that pledge has . . . well, reached its expiration date.

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