It’s obvious why he’s lying, of course: if Carnahan admitted how costly the House Democrat health bill will be, he would get a far worse reception.
Congressman Carnahan tells his constituents that the CBO has scored the House Democrat health bill and concluded that it produces a $6 billion surplus. That’s an out-and-out lie. You can find the CBO score here. If you look at the top of page 2, you see that according to CBO’s calculations, the health care bill will increase the deficit by $239 billion between 2010 and 2019.
How can Carnahan claim a $6 billion surplus? He’s parroting Speaker Pelosi:
The bill’s long-term reform of Medicare’s physician fee schedule to eliminate the potential 21 percent cut in fees, and put payments on a sustainable basis for the future, will cost about $245 billion. Those costs, however, are not included in the net calculations above, as they will be absorbed under the upcoming statutory “pay go” legislation that is pending in the House.
Simply put, Speaker Pelosi acknowledges that the bill increases payments to doctors by $245 billion, but she figures that because the ‘PayGo’ bill she supports specifically allows this $245 billion in deficit spending, it doesn’t count. In other words, her PayGo bill is a sham, so she can rewrite CBO’s findings. And Russ Carnahan thinks that’s OK.
If I decide that I want to write a check for $245 more than I have in the bank, that doesn’t mean I’m not overdrawn. And if the bank sends me a letter saying I’m $239 in the red, I can’t claim that the bank says I’m $6 in the black, on the grounds that I had already decided to write bad checks.
Speaker Pelosi is lying. Russ Carnahan is lying. They are lying because they know their bill can’t stand on its own merits. They promised that this bill would save money, and now they are lying as they claim it won’t lose money. President Obama and the Democrats need to go back to the drawing board, and they need to stop lying to the American people.
And by the way, Congressman Carnahan – you may want to start paying attention to your constituents.
Update: I see that Jim Geraghty makes a similar point. Will anyone ask Congressman Carnahan to correct the record?