Democrats are cheering a Congressional Budget Office decision to “score” the Senate Finance Committee’s version of ObamaCare as not increasing the federal budget deficit. But it pays for some of ObamaCare’s massive cost by expanding state Medicaid programs, shifting its cost to the states. That will radically increase state budget deficits. Moreover, this version of ObamaCare, while cheaper than the four other versions, still relies on mythical cost savings and massive cuts to Medicare that are likely to be canceled after ObamaCare is enacted, to avoid enraging seniors and doctors. Rather than keeping costs down, ObamaCare outsources them to state governments and people with insurance.
This version of ObamaCare “proposes to spend more than $800 billion in the midst of an explosion of federal spending and debt to create a new entitlement program, the cost of which CBO says will grow at more than 8 percent a year (faster than health care costs grow now), and to raise taxes by almost $200 billion in the midst of a recession. It then proposes to make up the difference by massive cuts in Medicare which, as CBO notes, are unlikely to actually materialize.”
The Congressional Budget Office “scored” the bill as not increasing the deficit, but in doing so, it admitted that the bill does not even exist except as a concept, and that its details have yet to be fleshed out. Senate leaders intend to have the Finance Committee vote on the bill before its text is even available, and to have the Senate vote on the bill with virtually no advance notice, after major changes are made to the broad outline of the bill approved by the Committee (to add a potentially-costly “public option”).
ObamaCare would pay to cover some currently uninsured people by expanding state Medicaid programs. Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen (D) is criticizing Obama’s health-care plan as “the mother of all unfunded mandates,” saying it will force states to spend so much that they will have to either massively raise taxes, or run large budget deficits that violate state constitutions.
Some people who currently have employer-provided insurance or individual insurance policies will lose that insurance under ObamaCare. In states that adopted major provisions of ObamaCare, the number of privately-insured people fell, as the cost of their insurance skyrocketed. “The Congressional Budget Office analyzed” ObamaCare “and said that by 2016 some 3 million people who now have employer-based care would lose it because their employers would decide to stop offering it.” Some of these people will wind up on Medicaid, which ObamaCare will expand to cover some people who are not poor enough to be covered now.
While the CBO has scored this version of ObamaCare as not increasing the federal budget deficit (unlike the 4 other versions of ObamaCare pending in Congress, which the CBO admits would explode the deficit), some of Obama’s own advisers are more skeptical. Earlier, adviser Martin Feldstein said that Obama’s health-care plan would explode the federal budget deficit and lead to “crippling deficits,” as well as “higher taxes, debt payments, and interest rates” that would cut America’s standard of living. Feldstein also noted that Obama’s health-care plan would harm people with insurance, and predicted that it would lead to massive tax increases. Other analysts have predicted that it will drive up medical costs and inflation.
Obama is relying on $2 trillion in imaginary savings to pay for his health care plan. He is also relying on tax increases, which breaks Obama’s campaign promise not to raise taxes on the middle class.