Yesterday Sen. Reid leaked the news that the CBO had scored the Senate’s bill and that claimed that it would be basically revenue neutral, maybe even saving a few billion dollars after the first 10 years. Today the CBO debunked that fantasy stating that with the so-called “doctor’s fix“, which Reid neglected to include in his scoring, the deficits will increase by $89 billion in the first 10 years:
CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation estimate that enacting H.R. 3962, by itself, would reduce federal budget deficits by $109 billion over the 2010–2019 period through its effects on direct spending and revenues.
CBO estimates that enacting both H.R. 3961 and H.R. 3962 would add $89 billion to budget deficits over the 2010–2019 period. That amount is about $12 billion less than the sum of the effects of enacting the bills separately. The $12 billion difference results from two types of interactions. The higher payment rates for physicians’ services under H.R. 3961 would increase the net cost of provisions in H.R. 3962 by about $3 billion. However, that difference would be more than offset by the effect of a change under H.R. 3962 in how payment rates for Medicare Advantage plans are set. That change would reduce the effect of the changes made by H.R. 3961 to Medicare’s payments for physicians’ services in the fee-for-service sector on payment rates for Medicare Advantage plans. As a result, the estimated increase in payments to Medicare Advantage plans would be $15 billion smaller if both bills were enacted than under H.R. 3961 alone.
This just proves the obvious that the Democrats are playing financial games in order to trick the American public into passing legislation that will clearly not be deficit neutral. Anyone with half a brain knows that the expected costs will be no where near the actual costs when it is all said and done, but this blatant dishonesty from Reid and Pelosi by hiding the doctor’s fix is outrageous. As bad as this is, the news is even worse after the first 10 years:
The agency estimates that the two bills together would cost about $32 billion more in 2019 than H.R. 3962 alone and that the combination of the two bills would increase the budget deficit in 2019 by $23 billion relative to current law. Those increments would grow during the following decade. As stated in its October 29, 2009, letter to Congressman Charles B. Rangel, “CBO expects that [H.R. 3962] would slightly reduce federal budget deficits in that decade relative to those projected under current law—with a total effect during that decade that is in a broad range between zero and one-quarter percent of GDP [gross domestic product].” If both H.R. 3961 and H.R. 3962 were enacted, CBO expects that federal budget deficits during the decade following the 10-year budget window would increase relative to those projected under current law— with a total effect during that decade that is in a broad range between zero and one-quarter percent of GDP.
In other words, in the second decade after this goes into effect the projected deficit is $300 billion dollars! Now, the projected cost of Medicare was off by something like 1000% over when it was first passed into law and 1990. If we apply that same math the actual cost to this health-care bill is astronomically high. Even if we say that it’s off by 100% we’re still talking about $1 trillion dollars of extra deficit on top of what we already have.
Call your senator now, tell them they cannot vote for this bill!