Quotes of the day

“As a result of changes in direct spending and revenues, CBO expects that [repealing ObamaCare] would probably increase federal budget deficits over the 2012–2019 period by a total of roughly $145 billion (on the basis of the original estimate), plus or minus the effects of technical and economic changes that CBO and JCT will include in the forthcoming estimate. Adding two more years (through 2021) brings the projected increase in deficits to something in the vicinity of $230 billion, plus or minus the effects of technical and economic changes.

“Those projections do not include any potential savings in discretionary spending, which is governed by annual appropriation acts. By CBO’s estimates, repeal of the health care legislation would probably reduce the appropriations needed by the Internal Revenue Service by between $5 billion and $10 billion over 10 years. Similar savings would accrue to the Department of Health and Human Services.”

“Vowing to ‘go on the offensive,’ Democrats have scrambled this week to discuss health care reform on their own terms before the Republicans charge ahead with their repeal effort. Rather than lament the GOP attacks, they’re spinning the moment as a PR opportunity. ‘The more we talk about this, the better…it gives us an opportunity to seize the debate and drive it home,’ said Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.), the outgoing chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. Some are readily willing to admit that the Democrats failed to elucidate what was in the bill the first time around and that the public still doesn’t understand what reform means. ‘We did a lousy job throughout the health care debate in explaining what was in it…we’ve got to be clear and specific,’ Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) told Mother Jones. He added, ‘My goal is to let Americans know what it is the repeal would do.’

“Welch is pushing to include amendments to the House GOP’s repeal bill that would force members to vote on preserving some of reform’s most popular provisions. The GOP leadership has already vowed to prohibit the opposition from attaching any amendments to the repeal bill. But Democrats are now rattling off the list of popular benefits every time they’re in front of a podium. ‘We need to bring this out for all to see—the more they see, the more they’ll like it,’ said Levin.”

“Three Cabinet members from the Obama administration sent a letter to members of Congress on Wednesday defending the health care reform law, which Republicans are currently trying to repeal.

“The letter — signed by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner — laid out the consequences of the law being repealed.

“‘If the Affordable Care Act were repealed as some have proposed, the individuals we have heard from plus the millions of families, seniors, other individuals, and small businesses already helped would lose this support and these protections,’ the letter said.”


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