CBO: Obamacare Would Cost Over $2 Trillion
6:36 PM, Mar 18, 2010 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
We’d also pay for this through increased deficits. Under strict instructions from the Democrats, the CBO gave Obamacare credit for over $400 billion (from 2014 to 2023) in phony “savings” that would allegedly result from cutting doctor’s payments under Medicare by over 20 percent and never raising them back up. As the CBO notes, one of two things could happen: Congress could either follow through on these severe pay cuts — in which case doctors would view all Medicare patients as if they have the plague — or, Congress could eliminate these pay cuts — as everyone in Washington expects to have happen under the so-called “doc fix” — in which case the CBO projects that this bill would raise deficits by over $100 billion from 2017 to 2019 alone.
So, after racking up higher deficit spending in two years than President Bush (or any other president) did in two terms, President Obama would leave his successor a 12-figure deficit related to Obamacare alone — for the period from 2017 to 2019 alone. That’s according to the CBO.
And what would we get for all of this? The CBO says that health insurance premiums would rise by 10 to 13 percent in the individual market, in relation to current law. The Medicare Chief Actuary says that the percentage of the gross domestic product spent on health care would also rise in relation to current law, increasing from 17 percent today to 21 percent in 2019. And, as the CBO reports in its latest scoring, as of 2019 there would still be 23 million people in America lacking health insurance.
When the House votes on Obamacare, probably this weekend, it will do the following: Most likely all in one motion, it will vote on whether to pass the Senate bill — or, more likely, on whether to “deem” it passed — and on additional language. Should the House pass the Senate bill, it would be enacted the second that it went to the president and his pen touched the page. At that point, the “Cornhusker Kickback,” the “Louisiana Purchase,” “Gator Aid,” and all the rest, would become the law of the land. The additional language would be passed on to the Senate. The new CBO score is for the whole ball of wax — for the Senate bill, which would immediately become law, plus the new language, which wouldn’t. Clear as mud?
Meanwhile, President Obama is continuing to meet with wavering House Democrats, offering them rides on Air Force One and almost unimaginable combinations of other incentives and disincentives. Members of Congress report that, when they sit across from him in close quarters at his invitation, he says to them, “Help me make history.” In Jerry Maguire, the character played by Cuba Gooding Jr. famously says, “Help me help you.” For Obama, it’s “Help me help me.
The latest CBO score should help wavering Democrats to resist the president’s plea and listen anew to the pleas of their constituents. Two trillion dollars is a lot to spend on something that Americans don’t want.