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Real Cost of the Health Care Bills: $1.8 Trillon Over 10 Years

11:55 AM, Nov 5, 2009 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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As my piece with Ben Sasse in today's New York Post shows, the real 10-years costs of the Democratic health bills are not $800-900 billion, but roughly double that. In their real first decades, the House bill would cost $1.8 trillion, the Senate bill $1.7 trillion. And the House bill would raise taxes by $1.1 trillion, the Senate bill by $1.0 trillion. That's according to official Congressional Budget Office projections.

And if the Democrats don't follow through on their plans to divert hundreds of billion dollars away from Medicare, CBO projections show that the bills would each raise our deficits by over half a trillion dollars -- the Senate bill by nearly three-quarters of a trillion.

Thankfully, the CBO had the chance to report some more favorable news yesterday. The newly released Republican small bill (which I wrote about yesterday) would cost just $61 billion in its first ten years, wouldn't impose new taxes, and wouldn't funnel any money away from Medicare. Still more impressively, the CBO says that the Republican bill would decrease our deficits by $68 billion. Best of all, the CBO says the Republican bill would lower Americans' insurance premiums in all three insurance categories -- small group (by 7-10 percent), large group (by up to 3 percent), and individual (by 5-8 percent) -- while increasing the number of people who have health insurance.

So, the choice for Americans is clear: $1.7-$1.8 trillion, irresponsible siphoning from Medicare, substantial tax increases, no evidence of lower premiums, and a mounting list of studies suggesting Americans' premiums would rise substantially -- or, $0.06 trillion, no siphoning, no taxes, lower deficits, and lower premiums.

Oh, and the second choice wouldn't hand our health-care system over to the government.