CBO Releases Baucus Bill Preliminary Score
5:03 PM, Oct 7, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
The bottom line seems to be it will cost $829 billion (paid for with taxes, penalties, and savings), will lower the projected deficit by $81 billion, and will leave 25 million uninsured (one third of those illegal immigrants).
The CBO letter cautions:
The Chairman's mark, as amended, has not yet been converted into legislative language. The review of such language could lead to significant changes in the estimates of the proposal's effects on the federal budget and insurance coverage.
Unfortunately, Democrats will never wait for a CBO score of the actual legislative language before enacting this behemoth-even waiting for a preliminary score before a committee vote was a lot to ask- so this early and rosier-than-others picture of the bill will mean points for Democrats.
Even so, people will inevitably wonder about the wisdom of overhauling a system-paid for with significant new taxes and penalties-to achieve a coverage number that pro-Obamacare commentators find pretty underwhelming. Moving forward, Obamacare proponents will want to push that number up by pulling in the more liberal (and more costly) provisions in the HELP bill, with which this bill must be merged. For instance, the public option, more strict mandates on employers, pushing subsidy eligibility higher (from 300-400 percent of poverty level), and allowing
Once those prices go up, so will the amount of taxes and penalties needed to pay for them. Here's what those costs look like now:
While we're at it, here are some other new taxes imposed by the legislation.
Roll it all up in a crust of good ol' government opacity, slathered in hidden back-room deals, back-slaps, and hand-shakes, without the input of the American people (Eww, who needs it? It's the trans fat of democracy!), and you've got a recipe for Obamacare.
Update: Phil Klein notes how Elmendorf's caveats may affect Snowe's vote in committee. She wanted to wait for legislative language.
Update: Tevi Troy has thoughts on CBO's letter, with this conclusion:
He also notes a caveat I didn't: