President Obama has touted reports from the Congressional Budget Office claiming his health care law would actually decrease the deficit. But due to a bundle of budget gimmicks and other legislation, calculations show that Obamacare actually adds $698 billion to the deficit. This week’s chart outlines each of those budget gimmicks.
“This morning a new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office concludes that the reform we seek would bring $1.3 trillion in deficit reduction over the next two decades. That makes this legislation the most significant effort to reduce deficits since the Balanced Budget Act in the 1990s,” Obama declared two years ago.
CBO actually did project the health care law would reduce the deficit, but that assessment has “always rested on a series of omissions, gimmicks, double-counting of savings, and implausible assumptions that also have not changed since the law was enacted in 2010,” according to James Capretta, a visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation.
The CBO report double-counted Medicare savings, which adds $400 billion to the deficit. The Medicare cuts were supposed to pay for both entitlement expansions and future benefits out of the Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund.
“Then there are the scores of implausible assumptions,” said Capretta. “The Medicare cuts that are double-counted may not survive long anyway, because they are so indiscriminate and blunt that the chief actuary of the Medicare program has warned multiple times that they cannot be relied on. If they are implemented as written, they will cause severe access problems for seniors, as declining payment rates from Medicare will drive hospitals and other providers to stop taking elderly patients.”
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