Saturday, November 28, 2009

Obamacare To Cost $1 Trillion $6 Trillion For 10 Years

My, my, my. The numbers for Obamacare keep getting worse. The Democrats have lied about the 10-year cost of their "reform." Now we find that the actual cost will be six times what they say it will be. How have they done it? With gimmicks.

One gimmick makes the new entitlement spending appear smaller by not opening the spigot until late in the official 10-year budget window (2010–2019). Correcting for that gimmick in the Senate version, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) estimates, “When all this new spending occurs” — i.e., from 2014 through 2023 — “this bill will cost $2.5 trillion over that ten-year period.”

Another gimmick pushes much of the legislation’s costs off the federal budget and onto the private sector by requiring individuals and employers to purchase health insurance. When the bills force somebody to pay $10,000 to the government, the Congressional Budget Office treats that as a tax. When the government then hands that $10,000 to private insurers, the CBO counts that as government spending. But when the bills achieve the exact same outcome by forcing somebody to pay $10,000 directly to a private insurance company, it appears nowhere in the official CBO cost estimates — neither as federal revenues nor federal spending. That’s a sharp departure from how the CBO treated similar mandates in the Clinton health plan. And it hides maybe 60 percent of the legislation’s total costs. When I correct for that gimmick, it brings total costs to roughly $2.5 trillion (i.e., $1 trillion/0.4).

It's not unintentional that Democrats have hidden the costs of their program. The costs sunk Clintoncare, and Democrats are certain that if Americans knew the costs of Obamacare, they would reject that, too. Of course, Americans are already rejecting Obamacare, but Democrats don't give a damn about what Americans want or think representative democracy is all about.