Friday, January 7, 2011

DEMS WEAK TALKING POINT: 5 Reasons Why Repealing Obamacare Won't Increase the Deficit

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Thursday released an estimate of the House Republican bill to fully repeal Obamacare. It found that doing so would increase the deficit by $230 billion.

This latest uncertain estimate should be taken with a trillion grains of salt, and Republicans would be foolish to place too much faith in it, for five reasons.

1. It reminds us of what we already knew. The health care law is full of budget gimmicks, and even if CBO is right about its fiscal impact, we can’t afford it because Uncle Sam is broke.

2. Nothing meaningful has changed. The Thursday estimate, shifting the budget window from 2010-19 to 2012-21, finds a 10-year savings of $230 billion, compared to $143 billion in the estimate from last March.

We can compare apples to apples by looking only look at the 2010-19 period in both estimates. Doing so, we see the new savings figure is almost identical to the old one: $145 billion, compared to $143 billion.

3. The numbers are quite soft. Budget numbers swing up and down all the time. For example, just between March and August of 2010, CBO's baseline deficit projection for the year 2016 grew by $64 billion and its 10-year (2010-2019) deficit projection grew by $193 billion. That’s a lot of play in the joints. A similar swing in the next few months would swamp this current “official” estimate.

4. CBO has warned us not to over-rely on its numbers for Obamacare. Back in March, the agency was extremely tentative in its prediction that passing Obamacare would produce any savings, and refused to make any specific prediction beyond the law’s first decade. In today’s estimate, CBO says, “The projections of the bill’s budgetary impact are quite uncertain" and "have a roughly equal chance of turning out to be too high or too low." READ MORE...

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