Liberals are touting a new report by the Congressional Budget Office estimating that repealing the national health care law would add $145 billion to the deficit from 2012 to 2019, and $230 billion through 2021. These estimates should come as no surprise, because, aside from a few technical changes and updates, they are based on CBO projections from when the health care care law passed last March. These projections reflected the Democrats’ use of a number of accounting gimmicks, without which, the CBO separately acknowledged the law would actually run up deficits. As Paul Ryan notes, the reality is that the national health care law is a “fiscal train wreck.” The CBO deficit reduction number does not factor in double counting of Medicare savings and other revenue sources, and it doesn’t include $115 billion in costs needed to implement the law. Also, even if you take the CBO numbers at face value, what it boils down to is that over the next several decades, the federal government is raising taxes and cutting Medicare to pay for trillions in new spending. Increasing federal obligations is not an effective tool for long-term fiscal health, because any savings (or revenues) claimed by the new law would no longer be available for shoring up entitlements.
And another point that will probably get less attention today — today’s CBO estimate also finds that repealing the law would lower premiums for those who would not qualify for government subsidies.