CBO: Real ObamaCare Adds Billions To Deficit

What’s the difference between yesterday’s CBO numbers and those from today? Yesterday’s projection only included the legislation cost with Medicare cuts. But Democrats have already announced a “doc fix”, which will suspend those payment cuts.

Basically, today’s projection takes into account the full price. Yesterday’s was merely the introductory price. And today we learn the real cost of government-run health care adds billions to the national deficit, unsurprisingly.

You asked about the total budgetary impact of enacting the reconciliation proposal (the amendment to H.R. 4872), the Senate-passed health bill (H.R. 3590), and the Medicare Physicians Payment Reform Act of 2009 (H.R. 3961). CBO estimates that enacting all three pieces of legislation would add $59 billion to budget deficits over the 2010–2019 period.

Under current law, Medicare’s payment rates for physicians’ services will be reduced by about 21 percent in April 2010 and by an average of about 2 percent per year for the rest of the decade. H.R. 3961 would increase those payment rates by 1.2 percent in 2010 and would restructure the sustainable growth rate mechanism beginning in 2011. Those changes would result in significantly higher payment rates for physicians than those that would result under current law. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3961, by itself, would cost about $208 billion over the 2010–2019 period. (That estimate reflects the enactment of two short-term extension acts, which lowered the cost in 2010 by about $2 billion compared with CBO’s estimate of November 4, 2009.)…

CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3961 together with those two bills would add $59 billion to budget deficits over the 2010–2019 period. That amount is about $10 billion less than the figure that would result from summing the effects of enacting the bills separately. The $10 billion difference occurs primarily because H.R. 3590 and the reconciliation proposal would modify how the government’s payments to Medicare Advantage plans are set.

All of which explains why the American Medical Association jumped on board today. Rather than cutting payments to doctors engaged in Medicare services, Democrats will add billions of dollars to the federal deficit through a “doc fix”. But the legislation currently being considered included Medicare cuts, hence the CBO projection of deficit reduction.

When you take into account the plan Democrats have already admitted to following, you’re adding another $59 billion to the federal deficit. Which means on top of the $2 trillion real cost for the legislation, we’re increasing the deficit. Bonus!

But wait, there’s more! The Congressional Budget Office found another $50 billion in costs to administer the program.

In its March 11, 2010, cost estimate for H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), as passed by the Senate, CBO indicated that it has identified at least $50 billion in specified and estimated authorizations of discretionary spending that might be involved in implementing that legislation. The authority to undertake such spending is not provided in H.R. 3590; it would require future action in appropriation bills. The attached table provides additional information about those authorizations.

Discretionary costs under PPACA would arise from the effects of the legislation on several federal agencies and on a number of new and existing programs subject to future appropriation. Those discretionary costs fall into three general categories.

So the $940 billion price tag with its promises of deficit reduction is bullshit. ObamaCare actually adds billions to the federal deficit and costs much, much more than previously though.


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