New study shows ObamaCare will add $340 billion to deficit in first decade

posted at 10:26 am on April 10, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

When passing and signing ObamaCare into law, Democrats — including most prominently Barack Obama — insisted that the bill would not inflate already-exploding deficits.  In fact, they claimed, the bill would save money in the first ten years, which was accomplished by a rather transparent staging of taxes and benefits that gave ObamaCare a few years of revenue before any significant outlays.  However, a new study by a trustee for CMS shows that the bill will actually increase deficits by $340 billion in the first ten years, thanks in part to a little-known issue with the shell game ObamaCare plays with those funding mechanisms:

President Obama’s landmark health-care initiative, long touted as a means to control costs, will actually add more than $340 billion to the nation’s budget woes over the next decade, according to a new study by a Republican member of the board that oversees Medicare financing.

The study is set to be released Tuesday by Charles Blahous, a conservative policy analyst whom Obama approved in 2010 as the GOP trustee for Medicare and Social Security. His analysis challenges the conventional wisdom that the health-care law, which calls for an expensive expansion of coverage for the uninsured beginning in 2014, will nonetheless reduce deficits by raising taxes and cutting payments to Medicare providers.

The 2010 law does generate both savings and revenue. But much of that money will flow into the Medicare hospitalization trust fund — and, under law, the money must be used to pay years of additional benefits to those who are already insured. That means those savings would not be available to pay for expanding coverage for the uninsured.

“Does the health-care act worsen the deficit? The answer, I think, is clearly that it does,” Blahous, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, said in an interview. “If one asserts that this law extends the solvency of Medicare, then one is affirming that this law adds to the deficit. Because the expansion of the Medicare trust fund and the creation of the new subsidies together create more spending than existed under prior law.”

Blahous explains the mechanism for this at his own site:

Here’s a simple way to think of it: under law Medicare is permitted to spend any proceeds of savings in the Medicare HI program. If we cut $1 from Medicare HI spending in the near term, then an additional $1 is credited to the HI Trust Fund as a result. The Trust Fund thus lasts longer and its spending authority is expanded, permitting it to spend another $1 in a later year.

A core fiscal problem with the ACA is that the same $1 in Medicare savings that expands Medicare’s future spending authority by $1 is also assumed to finance the creation of a large new federal health program. Taken together, these two expansions of spending authorities – the new health program and Medicare’s solvency extension – far exceed the cost-savings in the legislation.

Many people understood this instinctively when the law was originally debated. They wondered how a law could simultaneously extend the solvency of Medicare, provide subsidized health coverage to 30 million new people, and also reduce the deficit. The answer is that it can’t. The cost-savings of the ACA are insufficient to both extend Medicare solvency and finance a new health program without adding enormously to the federal debt.

The government scorekeeping conventions now in wide use are useful and appropriate for many policy purposes, but unfortunately they do not account for this phenomenon. CBO is diligent in carefully noting that these scoring conventions, dating back to the 1985 Deficit Control Act, do not represent actual law. As CBO states, “CBO’s baseline incorporates the assumption that payments will continue to be made after the trust fund has been exhausted, although there is no legal authority to make such payments.” The scorekeeping convention thus ignores the additional spending authority created when the HI trust fund is extended as occurs under the ACA. Unfortunately, few people read or understand these critical disclosures.

As a result, much of the cost-savings attributed to the ACA is actually not net new savings, but rather substitutions for those required under previous law. Under previous law, Medicare payments either would have been suddenly cut in 2016, or lawmakers would have had to enact other Medicare cost-savings (indeed, perhaps much like those in the ACA). The difference is that under previous law this all would have happened without also creating an expensive new spending program.

This is a more detailed explanation of the “double counting” criticism that arose during the ObamaCare debate over its scoring.  The purported savings from these reforms arguably come to $575 billion over ten years, which was used to fund the Medicaid expansion that Obama used to cover the uninsured.  However, the same savings got applied to extending the life of the Medicare fund, which as Blahous notes, is impossible under the law.  If the funds go to the Medicaid expansion, then Medicare will become insolvent in 2016 and drastic cuts in funding will occur.  If it gets applied to the trust fund, then the federal government will have to spend other funds to expand Medicaid.  It can’t be both, and as the Post notes, even the CBO acknowledged as much in its scoring.

What does the administration have to say in response?  An OMB official told the Washington Post (without going on the record) that Blahous was using “new math” to undermine the credibility of Obama’s reforms, in an attempt “to refight the political battles of the past.”  However, this isn’t about the past at all; it’s about the future of Medicare and the deficit.  The White House response appears to fall into the Pelosiesque “we had to pass it to see what’s in it” category, with the addendum of “and now it’s too late to argue about it.”  We’ll see if that’s true.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Why am I not surprised?

WannabeAnglican on April 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM

New math, old math but is it correct math?

Cindy Munford on April 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM

In other news, the Cubs suck and water is wet.

search4truth on April 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Oh wait…

Reconciliation to pass 0bamacare was only allowed if 0bamacare was budget-neutral.

Did someone….. LIE?

cane_loader on April 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Magic Obama Math.

If Sesame Street taught kids math like this they would be off the air.

NickDeringer on April 10, 2012 at 10:31 AM

None of this was a surprise. We knew from the beginning that Obama used accounting gimmicks, unrealistic assumptions, and double counting. We just didn’t know the specific numbers.

Happy Nomad on April 10, 2012 at 10:31 AM

The White house dismissed the study in a statement late Monday. Presidential assistant Jeanne Lambrew called the study “new math (that) fits the old pattern of mischaracterizations” about the health care law.

http://news.yahoo.com/study-obamas-health-care-law-raise-deficit-025042189.html

I do have a name. It’s Jeanne Lambrew, professional Poli Sci retard, or more specifically, professor of public affairs and health policy, which apparently doesn’t include grade school level math.

MNHawk on April 10, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Obama lied, fiscal responsibility died..

I have clearly not done calculations on this, but doesn’t 340 billion seem kind of small?

milcus on April 10, 2012 at 10:31 AM

…to be revised upward…we know better…once it gets going…to the moon Alice!

KOOLAID2 on April 10, 2012 at 10:32 AM

That’s all? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight …

ShainS on April 10, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Meanwhile down in Florida, Obama presses for ‘Buffett rule.’

A study by the Associated Press shows that the Buffett Rule would bring in $31 billion over 11 years or $2.82 billion per year.

Obama’s Buffett Rule: Brings in $7,726,027.40 per DAY, ceterus paribus.

Obama deficit spends: $4,259,183,643.92 per DAY.

Resist We Much on April 10, 2012 at 10:33 AM

“new math (that) fits the old pattern of mischaracterizations” about the health care law.

Is this finally proof that the “new math” doesn’t work? I wonder why they teach our kids new math?

oldroy on April 10, 2012 at 10:33 AM

“We have to pass it to know what is in it.”-SanFranNan

Well I’ll be darn, there was a whole bunch of love notes from liberals, pressed between the pages.

Yoop on April 10, 2012 at 10:35 AM

New math, old math but is it correct math?

Cindy Munford on April 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM

only if you think 5+5=11

upinak on April 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Honestly, who did not see this coming? Beuller, Beuller, Beuller?

The US Constitution destroyed right before our very eyes, and we did nothing.

SWalker on April 10, 2012 at 10:38 AM

***

Obama’s Buffett Rule: Brings in $7,726,027.40 $7.7 million per DAY, ceterus paribus.

Obama deficit spends: $4,259,183,643.92 $4.3 billion per DAY.

Resist We Much on April 10, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Thanks for the information–I mean it. I just think the presentation needed a little help.

BuckeyeSam on April 10, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Did someone….. LIE?

cane_loader on April 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Yes, and that raises an even deeper question about the constitutionality of the bill. These revelations invalidate the process the socialists used to achieve passage.

The bill is illegitimate.

dogsoldier on April 10, 2012 at 10:38 AM

My bet is that estimate is off by a factor of 10 or more and not in a good way.

Dasher on April 10, 2012 at 10:39 AM

I love pictures of Obama surrounded by people in white coats.

Very appropriate.

HeatSeeker2011 on April 10, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Meanwhile down in Florida, Obama presses for ‘Buffett rule.’

A study by the Associated Press shows that the Buffett Rule would bring in $31 billion over 11 years or $2.82 billion per year.

Obama’s Buffett Rule: Brings in $7,726,027.40 per DAY, ceterus paribus.

Obama deficit spends: $4,259,183,643.92 per DAY.

Resist We Much on April 10, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Only liberal Democrats are stupid enough to believe that the Buffet Rule would increase revenue. Congress ought to ask the States like California, New York or Illinois that have tried their own version of the buffet Rule how much additional revenue it brought in. The average… a 20% decrease in revenues.

SWalker on April 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Resist We Much on April 10, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Folks here have repeatedly shown that a 100% tax on those earning over 200k would not even raise a speed bump to Zero’s debt engine.

Libs just cover their ears and cry out “LA LA LA LA LA! I Can;t hear you! LA LA LA LA LA!”

dogsoldier on April 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Oh wait…

Reconciliation to pass 0bamacare was only allowed if 0bamacare was budget-neutral.

Did someone….. LIE?

Not really because remember, nobody read it and we had to pass it to see what was in it. It’s like a prize in a cereal box, when you get down to it and see what it is, nothing but junk.

buckeyerich on April 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM

I’m glad to see that the media did such a great job up scrutinizing Dems on the price tag.

I’m also glad to see that so many Republicans were too stupid to be able to stand in front of TV cameras to make this case. In the alternative, I’m glad to see that Republicans so bungled their stewardship of things between 2000 and 2006 that we ended up with such overwhelming Dem numbers in both the House and the Senate to pass this thing and to usher the way for Obama as president.

BuckeyeSam on April 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Wow – shocking analysis from the Hoover Institute – in partnership with something called ‘Obamacare Watch’.
What’s next – a study on horizons from the Flat Earth Society?

verbaluce on April 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM

BuckeyeSam on April 10, 2012 at 10:38 AM

No problem. Looks much better.

Take a look at the right side of my blog for some real eye-popping numbers (I just updated them yesterday).

predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com

Resist We Much on April 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM

When will people recognize that “pie in the sky” crap coming out of the White House is NEVER what they report it to be?

I went out with a guy last week who honestly thinks that the money to pay for all this is “the government’s money” and after it comes out of our paychecks it doesn’t belong to us anymore. He also thinks its the government’s job to take care of us. Might I mention he’s a US History teacher in middle school.

For all you parents out there who don’t think your kids aren’t getting indoctrinated, guess again!

RadioAngel on April 10, 2012 at 10:44 AM

These are projected figures.

It is a near certainty the actuals will be far worse. It doesn’t matter though. Once Zero is re-elected he’ll have more ‘room’ – this is his last election and then then he’s going to be more interested in ‘transmitting information’ to Vladamir, Hugo, Mahmoud, and pals.

CorporatePiggy on April 10, 2012 at 10:44 AM

By the way who are those creepy actors wearing white coats in the photo. The man looks like Bill Ayers.

CorporatePiggy on April 10, 2012 at 10:45 AM

verbaluce on April 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Take it from someone, who grew up with the NHS, it will be far worse than $340 billion.

Resist We Much on April 10, 2012 at 10:46 AM

“we had to pass it to see what’s in it” category, with the addendum of “and now it’s too late to argue about it.”

Exactly. Now just sit back and enjoy all of the new benefits this law will force you to buy.

forest on April 10, 2012 at 10:46 AM

This will cost more than $340 billion PER YEAR within the first decade.

Implying that Socialized medicine will only cause 34 billion dollars damage to the economy per year is pure propaganda.

logis on April 10, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Sadly, Romney will never use this against Obama….

idesign on April 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM

It’s not a ‘bug’, it’s a ‘feature’. ObamaCare – designed to fail.

GarandFan on April 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM

What’s next – a study on horizons from the Flat Earth Society?

verbaluce on April 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Maybe a leftist retard not bright enough to know when humanity figured out when earth was round, throwing flat earth into the thread in a lame attempt to deflect from the issue at hand. The cost, and poli sci retards attempts at deflection by declaring the cost, “new math.”

Really, sport. Flat Earth is soooo 600BC. Which is probably why you, nor the trash you associate with, has figure that out.

MNHawk on April 10, 2012 at 10:48 AM

There will NEVER,NEVER be enough money for this program.It will comsume everything.

docflash on April 10, 2012 at 10:50 AM

verbaluce on April 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM

New troll?

BuckeyeSam on April 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Call me Captain Renault.

CJ on April 10, 2012 at 10:56 AM

SWalker on April 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Speaking of liberal positions on tax policy, the WSJ has an interesting editorial on the correlation of capital-gains tax rates and the revenue they generate.

Surprise, when rates are reduced, revenue pours in. The problem is that liberals then say, “Hey, if those gains had been subject to higher rates, we’d have had so much more tax revenue.”

Liberals never seem to realize that taxpayers in most cases are under no legal requirement to realize and recognize capital gains. According to liberals, taxpayers would still realize and recognize their capital gains in higher tax environments.

BuckeyeSam on April 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Wow – shocking analysis from the Hoover Institute – in partnership with something called ‘Obamacare Watch’.
What’s next – a study on horizons from the Flat Earth Society?
verbaluce on April 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM

If it’s so stupid, you’d be able to debunk it

Chuck Schick on April 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM

This issue will be over in June…

PatriotRider on April 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Yesterday “manufactured voter fraud”…..today “new math”…tomorrow “Unicorn Protection Act”…imbeciles…

hillsoftx on April 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM

What’s next – a study on horizons from the Flat Earth Society?

verbaluce on April 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM

what’s next? definitely nothing original from verbaluce

probably a faux news comment followed by some saved and created bullsh!t

DHChron on April 10, 2012 at 11:03 AM

I love the white coats around Obama too!

We’re no doctors but we play them on presidential podiums

DHChron on April 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Magic Obama Math.

If Sesame Street taught kids math like this they would be off the air.

NickDeringer on April 10, 2012 at 10:31 AM

With Obama Math, the Sesame Street character “The Count” would have had to be put in a rubber room.

Bitter Clinger on April 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM

This issue will be over in June…

PatriotRider on April 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Hopefully, hopefully.

Bitter Clinger on April 10, 2012 at 11:06 AM

BuckeyeSam
Lib4life’s new name?

angrymike on April 10, 2012 at 11:07 AM

ObamaCare will add $340 billion to deficit in first decade

“Deficit” is a term for overspending on an annual basis.

Taken literally, the headline says “ObamaCare will add $3.4 trillion to the debt in the first decade”.

Is that what you meant, Ed?

BobMbx on April 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Only by $300+ billion over 10 years? The end number will be over a trillion when it’s all said and done. They always low ball these numbers. Bank on it.

Yakko77 on April 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM

A very good article on taxes:

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death…You Can Keep The “Equality”

“So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights
‘The oaks are just too greedy
We will make them give us light’
Now there’s no more oak oppression
For they passed a noble law
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe and saw.”

- Rush, The Trees

Big Government Robs The Middle Class Because That’s Where The Money Is!

Resist We Much on April 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM

New math, old math but is it correct math?

Cindy Munford on April 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM

only if you think 5+5=11

upinak on April 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM

I thought it was 5+5 = free.

BobMbx on April 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

sup mike to the angry!

yeah, this verbaluce character doesn’t seem to want to spar like lib4life. They just want to take a written deuce all over the thread and not wipe.

DHChron on April 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

upinak on April 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM

I think BobMbx has Obama’s math right. Unfortunately “free” equals Obama stash which equals taxpayer. I wonder if the freeloaders understand that the government has no money of their own or they just don’t care?

Cindy Munford on April 10, 2012 at 11:17 AM

What a bargain!!

tommer74 on April 10, 2012 at 11:19 AM

I thought it was 5+5 = free.

BobMbx on April 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

duh! 5+5 is 1,000,000,000 in savings over ten years! Didn’t you take macroeconomics in college?

DHChron on April 10, 2012 at 11:23 AM

verbaluce on April 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Care to explain how this could pass the Senate via reconcilliation as a budget neutral bill? Enlighten me as to how a dollar can be used in two different programs at the same time. Help us out here.

a capella on April 10, 2012 at 11:44 AM

nonsense.

sesquipedalian on April 10, 2012 at 11:44 AM

sesquipedalian on April 10, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Heh. The author of your rebuttal is Jonathan Chait. Effing Johnathan Chait! He says this about the study which is this thread’s topic. LOL.

The first thing to understand here is that this is not a study by a government agency. It’s a paper by Charles Blahous. Who is Charles Blahous? He’s a Republican policy guy.

a capella on April 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM

a capella on April 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM

and your opinion about the other things he wants you to understand, but you likely can’t?

[Blahous]’s assuming that Medicare’s deficits will automatically go away. Therefore, the roughly $500 billion in Medicare savings that Obama used to help cover the uninsured is money that Blahous assumes the government wouldn’t have spent anyway. Without the health-care law, in other words, we would have had Medicare cuts but no new spending on the uninsured. Now we have the Medicare cuts and new spending on the uninsured. Therefore, the new spending in the law counts toward increasing the deficit, but the spending cuts don’t count toward reducing it.

That is a completely bizarre assumption. It’s not an assumption that any scoring agency ever applies in other situations. We assume that, in the absence of action, Congress will keep paying Medicare benefits. That’s why we have all these projections of future deficits. If Blahous’s assumptions are right, then we don’t really have an entitlement problem at all. Medicare can’t exceed its trust fund, so problem solved! You know how Paul Ryan has been stalking the halls of Congress with disaster-movie music in the backdrop, warning that we’re about to become Greece? He should relax! (Also, Blahous’s methodology would show that Ryan’s budget looks way worse, too.)

sesquipedalian on April 10, 2012 at 12:02 PM

o/t

What Did Progs Think About FDR’s “Court-Packing” Scheme? – You Can’t Always Get What You Want

A shot-across-FDR’s-bow fired by a Prog. Obama, take cover, too.

Resist We Much on April 10, 2012 at 12:03 PM

sesquipedalian on April 10, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Wait… there are people who believe that Obamacare will save money?

Ahahaha…..

Seriously, name ANY govt program, R or D, that has actually saved taxpayers money (aside from tax cuts).

Rube…

spinach.chin on April 10, 2012 at 12:14 PM

New math, old math but is it correct math?

Cindy Munford on April 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM
only if you think 5+5=11

upinak on April 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM

2+2=5…for extremely large values of 2.

Goldenavatar on April 10, 2012 at 12:20 PM

spinach.chin on April 10, 2012 at 12:14 PM

the interstate highway system, off the top of my head.

you don’t care to address the argument set forth above either, i presume.

taking pride in your ignorance is par for the course here, but doesn’t your inability to engage with complex issues bother you a wee bit?

sesquipedalian on April 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Who knew? Not that any government run program has ever gone over budget or anything. I mean that’s just silly talk.

Bmore on April 10, 2012 at 12:32 PM

No worries though, cause Rmoney™ is gonna repeal it right? Or was it waivers.

Bmore on April 10, 2012 at 12:34 PM

taking pride in your ignorance is par for the course here, but doesn’t your inability to engage with complex issues bother you a wee bit?

sesquipedalian on April 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Translation= See if you can find the pea under one of the shells. In order to understand complex issues, one has to believe all the premises as laid out. Chait makes base claims which aren’t verifiable. Waste of time. Lest you accuse us of timidity, I’ll be glad to point them out. Will be gone for a few hours.

a capella on April 10, 2012 at 12:43 PM

I’m tired of looking at that dude with the pony tail.

DaveDief on April 10, 2012 at 12:43 PM

the interstate highway system, off the top of my head.

sesquipedalian on April 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Actually, chumpette, private roads are built for less than government built roads. Thanks for playing, though.

Now be a good little tool and go back to pretending that this thread is based on a false premise, because you read it in the New York Times with the rest of the chumps who think it was only recently humanity discovered that the world is round.

Johathan Chait. You’s funny!

MNHawk on April 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM

The Obama administration is emphasizing “fairness” over deficit reduction in its renewed pitch for the “Buffett rule” ahead of next week’s scheduled Senate vote.

Introducing a minimum 30 percent income tax on millionaires “was never our plan to bring the deficit down and get the debt under control,” Jason Furman, the principal deputy director of the White House National Economic Council, told reporters on a conference call Monday afternoon.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina called on Romney to release additional tax filings, saying, “The Buffett rule will help make our system reflect our values as all Americans play by the same rules, do their fair share and get a shot at success.”

Obama: “This is not class warfare — It’s math.”

Liar.

Resist We Much on April 10, 2012 at 12:48 PM

sesquipedalian on April 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Even the HHS secretary admits to double counting: http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/04/hhs-secretary-sebelius-admits-to-double-counting-in-obamacare-budget/

Open your eyes and stop blindly swallowing whatever your chosen pundit is shoving down your throat.

spinach.chin on April 10, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Does that make the whole “reconciliation process”, where the Democratic Senate passed all the House amendments because Reid knew he couldn’t get it through his chamber again, unconstitutional?

djaymick on April 10, 2012 at 12:54 PM

the interstate highway system, off the top of my head.
 
sesquipedalian on April 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM

 
Off the top of my head, I remember reading a study saying that efficiency peaked in the ’70s and then congestion took over. I’ll see if I can’t find a link.
 
It was awesome after WWII and I’m glad we’ve got it, but I doubt it saves taxpayers any money (magic multipliers notwithstanding, of course).

rogerb on April 10, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Chait makes base claims which aren’t verifiable.

a capella on April 10, 2012 at 12:43 PM

how could they not be verifiable? they are laid out in the original study!

does blahous count medicare cuts under o-care as savings or not? if not, why? if you have no good answer to that, you must concede that the study morrissey is touting uncritically is based on bogus math.

sesquipedalian on April 10, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Open your eyes and stop blindly swallowing whatever your chosen pundit is shoving down your throat.

spinach.chin on April 10, 2012 at 12:52 PM

very funny. did you read the blahous study or are you blindly swallowing what ed says about him?

why does the author not count medicare cuts as savings? do you even care, or is it not just another case of promoting every bit of information that seems to confirm your preexisting beliefs, without any concern for its validity?

sesquipedalian on April 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM

340 billion over 10 years? That seems low. If the SCOTUS upholds it and we keep it I’m willing to lay a wager that we easily clear 340 billion in costs on this program above and beyond the income it received from taxes penalties taxes but not taxes but sort of taxes because we can do taxes but not really taxes because it’s not taxes while it’s taxes…. I think that’s the Government’s argument before SCOTUS.

Anyhow… is there anyone out there silly enough to want to bet that a government program will come in on time and under budget?

gekkobear on April 10, 2012 at 1:09 PM

the study morrissey is touting uncritically is based on bogus math.

sesquipedalian on April 10, 2012 at 12:55 PM

its new math get your talking points in order tardette

MNHawk on April 10, 2012 at 1:57 PM

sesquipedalian, I think I understand your and Chait’s source of confusion:

… Blahous assumes the government wouldn’t have spent anyway

This statement is not true. Government may have continued spending anyway, but those expenditures would have to be authorized by congress and WOULD ADD TO THE DEFICIT. Blahous’ point is that circumventing that authorization does not circumvent adding to the deficit.

An example: You have $10 in the bank and you earn $1 a day . You spend $3 a day on a small combo at Burger King. This means you have a deficit of $2 a day. After 5 days, your “fund” is out of money. But you decide to spend $6 a day on a small combo AND a happy meal at Mcdonald’s instead. You claim you are “saving” $3 a day on Burger King, so this “offsets” the increased McDonald’s spending. Fact, your net deficit went from $2 to $5.

This is not difficult to understand.

Without the health-care law, in other words, we would have had Medicare cuts but no new spending on the uninsured

Um, yes. You and Chait seem to disagree with this assertion, when it is obviously true. This is why it’s called an “unfunded liability”. When money runs out, there is no auto-magical new spending. For an object lesson, spend more than your entire paycheck until your savings is gone. Then see if you can continue spending more than your paycheck, or if you have to “cut” spending. Then see if you can start new expenditures.

Again, this is not difficult to understand.

CapnObvious on April 10, 2012 at 2:16 PM

very funny. did you read the blahous study or are you blindly swallowing what ed says about him?

why does the author not count medicare cuts as savings? do you even care, or is it not just another case of promoting every bit of information that seems to confirm your preexisting beliefs, without any concern for its validity?

sesquipedalian on April 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Please point out in my posts where I reference this study or comment on its validity, thanks.

I only referenced my incredulity that there are simpletons that accept the premise that Obamacare saves money, and useful idiots like Chait who advance that premise.

spinach.chin on April 10, 2012 at 3:10 PM

O.K., I’m back. Eye surgeon says complete success and no complications with either eye. Oh, I see

CapnObvious on April 10, 2012 at 2:16 PM

did a masterful job of making my points for me. Well done, sir.:)

a capella on April 10, 2012 at 4:15 PM

how’d you like to be the two hack doctors that have had their faces splashed across the nation with this picture.

both are no doubt some form of low life cosmetic beauty doctor but even they should have some sort of pride. instead they sold themselves out like two street whores for 30 pieces of silver.

acyl72 on April 10, 2012 at 6:13 PM