He's one of the most powerful people in Congress, you know
In an apparent miscalculation, House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) claimed Tuesday that ObamaCare will cost $5 million per person.
Precisely how Sessions arrived at that calculation during House floor debate on the budget is unclear.
But it's not at all unclear, because Sessions said directly how he got the number. He did it using Magic House Republican Math, the kind that eschews numbers in favor of loud yelping noises.
"If that's true, and if I accept the figures that the gentlewoman, the ranking member of the committee, said of the number of people who are on ObamaCare, Affordable Care Act, about 12 [million]. If you just do simple multiplication, 12 million into $108 billion, we're talking literally every single recipient would be costing this government more than $5 million per person for their insurance. It's staggering," Sessions said.
"If it really is true that everybody that is on this Affordable Care Act, that the true cost, cost to the taxpayer, is over $5 million for each person, then shame on us. For not knowing, asking, and understanding," Sessions added.
However, $108 billion divided by 12 million is only $9,000.
That's right, the good congressman got the answer to a simple division problem wrong by multiple orders of magnitude, which when you think about it explains nearly every Republican budget presented in the last decade. Oh, and bonus points for the finger-wagging at his fellow Americans for "not knowing" these things. That is also an essential part of House Republican mathematics.
The actual number is less than half that, at roughly $4,000 per newly insured American. That's a relative bargain when compared to the costs of the previous Sucks To Be You system, and explains why the CBO continues to rate Obamacare—sorry, the Affordable Care Act—as a significant deficit-reducer. In addition to, you know, helping Americans get health care.
It would be charitable to simply assume that Rep. Pete Sessions flubbed his numbers, and we would charitably say that if, say, Pete Sessions returned to the House floor to apologize for getting it wrong and clarify that all the bits about "it's staggering" and "shame on us" were based on him not understanding the intricacies of grade-school math. Considering the belligerence he attached to his faux numbers, however, it is likely more accurate to presume that he doesn't particularly give a damn what the numbers are, so long as he gets to make a speech lambasting others for "not knowing" that they are whatever he says they are.