The GOP has already shown they'll play fast and loose with their own budget rules, exempting health reform repeal from they're new "CutGo" rule. So they've proven they care more about making petty political points than reducing the deficit, but here's what we're actually talking about: $230 billion in 10 years, and a trillion over the next two decades:
As a result of changes in direct spending and revenues, CBO expects that enacting H.R. 2 would probably increase federal budget deficits over the 2012-2019 period by a total of roughly $145 billion (on the basis of the original estimate), plus or minus the effects of technical and economic changes that CBO and JCT will include in the forthcoming estimate. Adding two more years (through 2021) brings the projected increase in deficits to something in the vicinity of $230 billion, plus or minus the effects of technical and economic changes.
But there's more:
Effects on the Number of People with Health Insurance
Under H.R. 2, about 32 million fewer nonelderly people would have health insurance in 2019, leaving a total of about 54 million nonelderly people uninsured. The share of legal nonelderly residents with insurance coverage in 2019 would be about 83 percent, compared with a projected share of 94 percent under current law (and 83 percent currently).
Effects on Health Insurance Premiums
If H.R. 2 was enacted, premiums for health insurance in the individual market would be somewhat lower than under current law, mostly because the average insurance policy in this market would cover a smaller share of enrollees’ costs for health care and a slightly narrower range of benefits. Although premiums in the individual market would be lower, on average, under H.R. 2 than under current law, many people would end up paying more for health insurance—because under current law, the majority of enrollees purchasing coverage in that market would receive subsidies via the insurance exchanges, and H.R. 2 would eliminate those subsidies.
Premiums for employment-based coverage obtained through large employers would be slightly higher under H.R. 2 than under current law. Premiums for employment-based coverage obtained through small employers might be slightly higher or slightly lower (reflecting uncertainty about the impact of the enacted legislation on premiums in that market). [emphasis mine]
Americans would be paying more for less, because remember that the prohibitions on recissions and denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions would be gone. Additionally, a larger share of premiums would be going to administrative costs and not to actual health care--the minimum medical loss ratio that determines how much of a premium dollar has to be spent on care would be gone.
So to sum up, the American people would pay more for less. Meanwhile, the deficit would be substantially increased. The Republican way. While this is all kabuki to play to the teabagger base, and repeal won't actually happen, it's important to know this about the Republicans: they don't care about the deficit. The GOP base doesn't care about the deficit. Their so-called principles are a sham.
(Note: in a previous story, I linked to a CBO estimate from August, 2010 that estimated repeal of Medicare provisions adding as much as $455 billion to the deficit in the next decade. That estimate was specific to repeals Sen. Mike Crapo asked about regarding his bill that would have repealed the Medicare sections of the law. The savings from Medicare are offset in the bill as a whole with increases in other spending as well as other revenue increases, which got us to $143B in net deficit reduction in the first decade and over a trillion in the second decade last year. Since we're now a year later, we're getting into a year of the bigger deficit reductions in the out decade, hence the $230B in deficit increases between 2012-2021 that would come as a result of repeal.)