Wednesday, October 07, 2009

CBO: Baucus Bill Cuts Deficit By $81 Billion

Hard to swallow, but that's what the Congressional Budget Office is saying.

The Committee’s deficit neutral proposal will cost approximately $829 billion, about $55 billion more than the original pre mark-up version, but about $71 billion less than President Obama’s $900 billion target.

I'm curious to know if it still includes the tampon tax (of course not! It's now a breast pump tax) and what else to make this "deficit neutral." Oddly enough, I'd swear we were told the rest of us wouldn't be ponying up more to pay for Obamacare, but darn it if every time we turn around, there's not some new way we're gonna be chipping in.

As Ed Morrissey says,
Every time our health-care providers have to use these items, they will pay more for them — and pass that cost onto us. We may see that less directly thanks to the removal of the tampon tax, but the thousands of other items needed for our care will cost us more. We need to understand the scope of this tax before it breaks our backs.

The local trolls just keep buying the idea that we won't end up paying for this stuff, but it's clear we will, not merely through higher insurance premiums but through taxes on everything from Kotex to sodas. Sure, you can live without Coke, but women gotta have...well, you know.

Be that as it may, Allahpundit points out that it will be more difficult for Republicans to argue against the Baucus bill after this CBO report, and opposition has been softening over the last week or so anyway. Not sure why, exactly, since it isn't like these proposals haven't been out there before. It seems to me that this is just another case of "small government" Republicans forgetting what "small government" really is.

For the record, of course people like the idea of the government (a) paying for everything and (b) sticking it to the insurance companies. That's gonna sound really great until you start getting the taxes and rate hikes that will go with it (and I'm not even discussing rationing at this point. We can talk about that when your hip replacement gets pushed out an extra 18 months).