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No way Obamacare reduces the deficit

Talk of how ObamaCare reduces the deficit is a biiig pet peeve of mine – and it’s received tons of press this week.

This “reduces the deficit” myth has bugged me since Senator Feingold sat right in front of me and told a voter that Obamacare saved the country $187 billion – but wouldn’t explain that it’s because of smoke and mirrors in the bill and huge new revenues raised via new taxes, fees and higher premiums for many. 

This week’s discussion began Monday when it was reported the GOP wouldn’t count the cost of repeal. 

Peter Suderman, health care expert at the Reason Institute nails it when he addresses just one small piece of Obamacare – “Even though the White House and members of Democratic leadership agree with Republicans that the [1099-reporting] provision should go, Congress has yet to come to an agreement about whether or how to replace the revenue raised by the provision—and, as a result, has yet to repeal it.” [Emphasis is mine.]

Yup, it’s the revenue.

Wednesday, stuff hit the fan, as Doug Elmendorf and his CBO reported that repeal would hike the deficit big-time.

(From this morning's New York Times) Republicans given price tag for health law repeal, but reject it 
The budget office estimated that the health care law, including education provisions, would reduce deficits over 10 years by $143 billion. Tax increases and cuts in projected Medicare spending would more than offset the cost of extending health insurance to millions of Americans. The budget office projected that the law would result in even bigger savings beyond 2019.

Republicans have said they do not believe that many of the Medicare cuts will ever take hold. They say that government subsidies to help people buy health insurance will prove far costlier than the budget office has predicted, and that the Democrats wrote the law to mask the steep future costs of some provisions, like a new long-term-care insurance program.

…. In their own report on Thursday, intended to illustrate how the law would lead to job losses, Republican leaders put the cost of the health care law “when fully implemented” at $2.6 trillion and said it would “add $701 billion to the deficit in its first 10 years.”
Here's today's report on the same thing, from the Washington Post. Needless to say, much emanated this week from conservatives…

And from the left... Dems pounce on CBO deficit number

Cantor critical of CBO scoring

Reality check – repeal of Obamacare would not increase the deficit

Ryan: Actually, Obamacare will increase budget deficit by $700 billion over 10 years

Paul Ryan explains his objection to CBO estimates:
…. While the out years contain more fake deficit reduction, they also contain very real spending increases as the bill’s new subsidies and its expansion of Medicaid to childless adults continue to generate enormous costs. Moving past 2019 begins to give us a clearer picture of the total 10-year price tag of the bill – it will almost certainly be larger than $1 trillion, and will likely be closer to $2.6 trillion once a full 10 years of new costs are taken into account.
This is fun – if you’re a policy wonk, I guess. Ryan: I’ll eat my tie if Obamacare reduces the deficit

Kathryn Nix, The Heritage Foundation: Take CBO reports with a grain of salt

Senator Tom Coburn’s take on the fiscal effects of repeal

If you’re only going to read one piece on this whole business, read David Brooks’ piece in today’s New York Times. Mind you, though Brooks proclaims to lean Republican, you won’t find many that call him a Ryan/Cantor/Coburn conservative. Brooks lists, issue by issue, with substantiation for each, the clear and present dangers with Obamacare. Something must be done with Obamacare, driving, pushing forward on its current path.
Health law crackup coming – the issue won’t go away 
When the crisis comes, Democrats will face an interesting choice — to patch the Obama system or try to replace it with something bigger. The administration may want a patch, but by a ratio of nearly 2 to 1, according to a CNN poll, Democratic voters would prefer a more ambitious law. Liberals could logically say that the mistake was trying to create a hybrid system, rather than moving straight to a single-payer one.

Republicans are going to have to move beyond their current “Repeal!” posture and cohere behind a positive alternative…
Jo Egelhoff,