Pelosi “very excited” that House ObamaCare bills will cost slightly less than $900 billion
posted at 10:10 pm on October 20, 2009 by Allahpundit
House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday new estimates showed a healthcare overhaul drafted by Democrats would reduce the U.S. budget deficit over 10 years and cost less than $900 billion.
The preliminary estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office moved Democratic leaders closer to finishing a merger of three separate healthcare reform bills into one for debate on the House floor…
“We’re very excited by the CBO scores,” she said, predicting House Democratic leaders would finish their work on the merger soon…
“We’re in an excellent place with the cost, given the information that we have,” she said.
“We’re in an excellent place with the cost” will make for a sweet punchline in next year’s GOP attack ads, every last one of which will be casting Madam Speaker in the role of boogeyman. (In fact, it’s already begun.) Meanwhile, Kevin Hassett floats a dark possibility: Is The One’s health-care obsession the real reason he’s delaying a decision on Afghanistan?
The final supplement to the budget under former President George W. Bush included $180 billion, covering the surge in Iraq as well as an additional 30,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. Assuming the per-troop costs are similar, the surge in Afghanistan will likely cost about $100 billion annually.
It is difficult to say how long such an action would take, but at that price, a five-year stay for the additional battalions would cost almost $500 billion, on top of the cost of the forces already on the ground. The final cost would probably be somewhere in between those two numbers…
The sad fact is, the delay of the decision on Afghanistan makes no sense unless it is part of a politically calculated plan to delay revelation of the true costs of the war until after the health-care legislation has been passed.
Intriguing, but the problem with that theory is that he’s already taking intense heat for leaving troops in the field to twist. Is he really going to hold off on making a decision until Christmas, which is when some congressmen think the final vote on ObamaCare may come? I can’t believe it. His numbers on Afghanistan are already tanking. He can’t afford that kind of delay.