7:23 AM, Mar 20, 2015 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Given that Obamacare’s supporters like to take the Congressional Budget Office’s overly optimistic scoring of the president’s signature legislation as gospel, it’s fun to look at how poorly Obamacare is actually doing in relation to earlier CBO projections. When the Democrats rammed Obamacare through Congress in 2010 without a single Republican vote, the CBO said that the unpopular overhaul would lead to a net increase of 26 million people with health insurance by 2015 (15 million through Medicaid plus 13 million through the Obamacare exchanges minus 2 million who would otherwise have had private insurance but wouldn’t because of Obamacare).
Fast-forwarding five years, the CBO now says that Obamacare’s tally for 2015 will actually be a net increase of just 17 million people (10 million through Medicaid plus 11 million through the Obamacare exchanges minus 4 million who would otherwise have had private insurance but won’t, or don’t, because of Obamacare).
In other words, Obamacare is now slated to hit only 65 percent of the CBO’s original coverage projection for 2015.
Obamacare’s under-publicized failure on this key point is attributable to a variety of factors, including but not limited to the following: People aren’t thrilled with Obamacare-compliant insurance’s high cost and limited doctor networks, and some would even rather pay a fine for refusing to buy such insurance than pay its premiums; the Supreme Court ruled that part of Obamacare was unconstitutional, thereby giving states more freedom not to help expand it; and HealthCare.gov has been more reminiscent of DMV.org than of Expedia.com.
In addition (and just as the CBO originally projected), the bulk of Obamacare’s net coverage gains are coming from dumping people into Medicaid (59 percent of the current projected net increase in 2015), not from getting people enrolled in private insurance (41 percent). Of course, President Obama rarely if ever talks about that aspect of Obamacare — but Republicans should.
In light of all this, it’s time for a winning conservative alternative to Obamacare that would pave the way to full repeal, offer a flat (age-based) refundable tax credit that would get people off of Medicaid and onto private insurance (letting them shop for value in the process), and give a tax cut to millions of Main Street Americans who buy health insurance on their own. Such everyday Americans generally receive nothing under Obamacare, have gotten the short end of the tax stick for decades, and deserve to get a tax break for buying individual-market insurance that’s roughly akin to the tax break for having employer-based insurance.
With such a tax-credit-based alternative in play, repeal can become a reality.
5:26 PM, Mar 2, 2015 • By IKE BRANNON
On Friday, congressional Republicans appointed Keith Hall to become the next director of the Congressional Budget Office. The announcement ended a careful two-month process that involved figuring out how to fill the position with a competent and credible individual, but without giving Democrats ammunition to decry any appointee as a partisan hack.
12:17 PM, Nov 16, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Two well-placed sources on Capitol Hill say that the Congressional Budget Office effectively used Jonathan Gruber’s model to score Obamacare. That model favors government mandates over market competition and claims that essentially the only way to achieve a large reduction in the number of uninsured Americans is to impose an Obamacare-like individual mandate. Moreover, because the model that the CBO used in scoring Obamacare is the same one it uses today, any alternative to Obamacare that doesn’t include an individual mandate — which is to say, any conservative alternative — wou
12:34 PM, Jul 16, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
We have been paying attention to other things so it probably slipped out minds. But as Bernie Becker of the The Hill reports, the defect hasn’t gone away (gone down, some, but not away) and:
10:05 AM, Jul 15, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
In March 2010, Obamacare was about to be voted upon by the House of Representatives, and the Democrats were in the process of deciding whether to ignore public opinion at their peril. At that time, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that Obamacare would cost $938 billion over a decade and would reduce the number of uninsured people by 19 million as of 2014 (with a reduction of 1 million prior to 2014 and 18 million in 2014 alone). Unimpressed, the American people overwhelmingly opposed the intrusive overhaul — with 20 of 21 polls taken that month showing it to be unpopular, most of them by double digits. The Democrats willfully passed Obamacare anyway and lost 63 House seats that November.
Five phony success stories.May 19, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 34 • By JAY COST
With enrollment in the Obamacare exchanges now closed, Democrats and their friends in the media are ebullient. Obamacare is an enormous success, they say, and conservatives have been humiliated. On closer inspection, however, things seem decidedly less bullish for President Obama’s signature achievement.
Among the many exaggerations and inaccuracies the law’s defenders are touting, five stand out.
The corrupting effects of Obamacare.Feb 24, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 23 • By JAY COST
On February 4 the Congressional Budget Office dropped a bombshell. Analysts there found that Obamacare’s structure will create an enormous implicit tax on work, such that people on the lower end of the economic scale will have an incentive to quit their jobs or scale back to part time to maximize their premium subsidies. In an earlier study, CBO had estimated that this disincentive to work would destroy the equivalent of less than a million full-time jobs. Now, it projects that an equivalent of more than 2 million jobs will be lost as people voluntarily leave the workforce.
Between 2017-2024.5:01 PM, Feb 8, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
New analysis by the minority-side of the Senate Budget Committee finds that Obamacare will reduce compensation by more than $1 trillion between 2017-2024. Analysts in that office have produced this chart to show the lost compensation by year:
As the chart shows, the lost compensation increases every year from an estimated $108 billion in 2017 to an estimated $147 billion 2024. The analysis is based on numbers provided in a recent Congressional Budget Office report on Obamacare.
Hosted by Michael Graham3:15 PM, Feb 5, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast, with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on why the Obamacare jobs numbers are trouble for Democrats.
10:49 AM, Feb 5, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Remember back when the Democrats tried to sell Obamacare to a skeptical citizenry as health care “reform” that would cost “only” $848 billion—far less than a trillion—over a decade? Indeed, that was the alleged 10-year gross cost of Obamacare’s coverage provisions, according to the Congressional Budget Office (see Table 3), when Harry Reid, Mark Pryor, Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu, Al Franken, Mark Udall, Jeanne Shaheen, Mark Begich, Mark Warner, and the rest of the Democrats rammed President Obama’s signature legislation through the Senate on Christmas Eve without a single Republican vote. That 12-digit price-tag was widely cited by the New York Times and other sympathetic outlets, who treated it as gospel, even as conservatives observed that it was clearly a sham number.
4:29 PM, Feb 4, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Congressional Budget Office has come out with a report on the effects of Affordable Care Act on the U.S. economy. As Erik Wasson of The Hill reports, the findings are not pretty.
The folly of OMB’s annual cost-benefit report.Aug 19, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 46 • By IKE BRANNON and SAM BATKINS
Every spring the Office of Management and Budget releases the president’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. While Congress invites senior administration figures to testify before various committees, and the media pore through the document to elucidate the administration’s priorities, by the end of a week everyone agrees that most of what’s in the budget has little chance of becoming enacted. Afterwards, Congress goes through the motions of passing a budget of its own, with scant regard to what the White House has proposed.
10:33 AM, Jun 4, 2013 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
A big part of Obamacare is its massive expansion of Medicaid. Fortunately, this expansion can’t happen in most states without Republicans freely choosing to make it happen. Unfortunately, far too many Republican governors seem to be confused about the distinction between repealing Obamacare and implementing it.