Diary

Senate Deal Lie: The Revised CBO Score

There isn’t much time to debunk this mess. So much information was reported today that some things were never properly analyzed or digested.

Remember that revised CBO score that moderate Democrats wanted to study? It came in today with little fanfare. Early on, it had been reported by credible sources that the Senate health care bill would cost $871 billion and reduce the deficit by $132 billion over ten years.

According to ‘The Hill’:

The Senate’s healthcare bill would cost $871 billion and cover 31 million more people, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the bill.

The CBO said that the final legislation, unveiled Saturday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, would cost $871 billion over the next 10 years and reduce the deficit by $132 billion over the same period.

The mainstream media ran with that tidbit, that the bill would cost $871 billion and would reduce the deficit by $132 billion over ten years. The revised CBO score never received much hype and, consequently, the issue of cost never recieved much attention.

It was a fast and furious day for the news cycle. But, finally, Jeffrey H. Anderson of ‘The Weekly Standard’ has looked at the revised CBO score and he is reporting that the real cost for the Senate plan is 2.5 trillion, not the 871 billion the Democrats and the mainstream media are reporting.

According to Anderson:

The Democrats are irresponsibly and disingenuously claiming that the bill would cost $871 billion over 10 years. But that’s not what the CBO says. Rather, the CBO says that $871 billion would be the costs from 2010 to 2019 for expansions in insurance coverage alone. But less than 2 percent of those “10-year costs” would kick in before the fifth year of that span. In its real first 10 years (2014 to 2023), the CBO says that the bill would cost $1.8 trillion — for insurance coverage expansions alone. Other parts of the bill would cost approximately $700 billion more, bringing the bill’s full 10-year tab to approximately $2.5 trillion — according to the CBO.

Those are the real CBO numbers. Even “reputable” sources like ‘The Hill’ are pushing the cooked numbers created by the Democrats. But, apparently, it gets worse for the Democrats because one of their holy grails, premiums, also rise.

According to Anderson:

And what would Americans get in return for this staggering sum? Well, the CBO says that health care premiums would rise, and the Chief Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says that the percentage of the Gross Domestic Product spent on health care would rise from 17 percent today to 21 percent by the end of 2019. Nationwide health care costs would be $234 billion higher than under current law. How’s that for “reform”?

Only a week ago, the revised CBO score was at the crux of the decision making process for Jim Webb, Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman and other moderates. What happened?

I’m from the school that we do not quit this fight. If we cannot win, and I believe we can, we still must hold people accountable. Either the Democratic Leadership lied to its caucus or moderate Democrats ignored the revised CBO score and lied to their contituents.

Demand a comment from Jim Webb, Ben Nelson, and Joe Lieberman. And forward Jeffrey Anderson’s article to discerning citizens in Virginia, Nebraska and Connecticut.