Skip to main content

Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III had a task for the GAO: take out all the reform in Obamacare, and tell me what happens to the deficit. Via Steve Benen, he got the answer he wanted: the deficit increases. Here he is touting this new study.

According to the GAO under a realistic set of assumptions the health care law will increase the deficit by 7/10th percent of GDP or roughly $6.2 trillion over the next 75 years. $6.2 trillion unfunded liability of the United States. In other words, the GAO reveals that the big tax increases in the bill come nowhere close to covering the massive spending.
Sessions told the GAO to project what would happen if the provisions of the bill designed to curb projected growth in health care spending—the Independent Payment Advisory Board, the excise tax on high-cost plans, and reductions in Medicare payments to providers based on performance—were repealed or phased out over time. The GAO said that, yes, taking the cost-saving stuff out of the law, but leaving the rest intact, would cost more money and increase the deficit. But here's what else the GAO said: If the law is implemented as passed, with the cost-saving measures intact, the deficit will decrease 1.5 percent as a share of the economy over the next 75 years, and 1.2 percent of this improvement in the deficit is directly attributed to the Affordable Care Act.

Cooking the books, Republican style. It's not the GAO's fault; Sessions handed them the recipe and directed them to cook the books according to it. So that's what they did. And right on cue, the right-wing media—Fox, National Review, Limbaugh, Drudge—ran with it. Not, of course, the part where the GAO says the cost-saving stuff in the law will save money if it stays in the law. Just the part where if you take out all the stuff that saves money, it costs a lot.

That's policy-making, Republican style.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:27 AM PST.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site