Jeffery H. Anderson of the Pacific Research Institute has a column published in today’s New York Post, labelling the latest health care reform bill as a harbinger of fiscal disaster. He also calls it a fraud (so, you know, not a fan). He contends:
The Senate Finance Committee yesterday voted on a fraud: Sen. Max Baucus’ "responsible" health-reform bill is actually a recipe for fiscal disaster — and the Congressional Budget Office report that supposedly bolstered the bill actually exposes it.
As others have noted, Baucus used all manner of budgetary gimmicks to oblige the CBO to give him the headlines he needed — a supposed pricetag of "just" $829 billion over 10 years, with enough other spending cuts and tax hikes to avoid adding to the federal deficit. But the CBO exposed the truth by taking the rare step of calculating what the bill would cost in its second 10 years.
In its second decade alone, the CBO projects, the bill’s costs would triple — to $2.8 trillion. The taxes and fines it levies would also triple — to $1.8 trillion. And its cuts to Medicare and related federal health programs would quadruple — to $1.9 trillion.
In its first two decades combined, the bill would cost $3.6 trillion and would raise taxes by $2.3 trillion.
Baucus’ most elementary trick was to have the bill’s "first 10 years" include several years when it hadn’t really kicked in. It was scored for 2010 to 2019, yet it wouldn’t be in full swing until 2015 — when its costs would exceed those of its first five years combined.
In fact, the bill wouldn’t cost anything in 2010. In its real first decade (2011-20), it would cost more than $1 trillion.
Furthermore, the CBO projects that, by the end of 2030, the Baucus bill would have cut spending on Medicare and other existing health programs by more than $2.6 trillion. Continue reading