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Thread: CBO: U.S. Healthcare Law Repeal HURTS Deficits

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    CBO: U.S. Healthcare Law Repeal HURTS Deficits

    US Healthcare Law Repeal Hurts Deficits: CBO
    Published: Thursday, 6 Jan 2011 | 11:09 AM ET Text Size
    By: Reuters

    An effort by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the healthcare law enacted last year would add to already huge federal budget deficits, the Congressional Budget Office warned Thursday.

    In a preliminary estimate of legislation the House is set to begin debating Friday, the CBO said repealing the law that President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats enacted would "increase federal budget deficits over the 2012-2019 period by a total of roughly $145 billion." It said that figure would rise to $230 billion by 2021.

    The CBO also said repeal would result in 32 million fewer people having health insurance.

    The nonpartisan CBO analyzes legislation for its impact on government spending and revenues and develops forecasts of U.S. economic performance.

    Republicans won majority control of the House last November after campaigning on promises to slash the U.S. deficit, now at around $1.3 trillion.

    During the 2010 campaigns for Congress, Republicans also said they would repeal the healthcare law, saying it places too many job-killing burdens on business and is unconstitutional because it requires individuals to purchase health insurance if they are not already covered.

    Democrats still hold a majority, although narrower than last year, in the Senate, where any healthcare repeal bill is expected to be blocked.

    On Friday, newly installed House Speaker John Boehner plans to begin debate on Republican legislation to repeal the healthcare law, which aimed to reduce U.S. medical costs and insure millions of people who currently can't afford coverage.

    The law also prevents insurance companies from refusing to cover patients with pre-existing conditions.

    House Republican leaders have dismissed CBO's forecasts that the healthcare law would reduce U.S. budget deficits, saying there were too many unrealistic assumptions in such forecasts.

    A House committee began meeting Thursday to put together rules governing the House floor debate of the healthcare law. That panel is expected to refuse to let Democrats offer amendments on the bill that could pass as soon as Jan. 12.

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    CBO: Health law repeal adds $230 billion to deficit
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    By SARAH KLIFF | 1/6/11 11:17 AM EST

    Republicans kicked off the first day of Congressional proceedings to overturn health reform with an unwelcome news: a Congressional Budget Office estimate that repeal would increase the deficit by $230 billion by 2021.

    The nonpartisan CBO’s preliminary analysis of the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Law Act, released Thursday morning, bolstered Democrats’ claims that overturning the health law would wreck havoc on the deficit. The CBO score on the Affordable Care Act has it decreasing the deficit by $143 billion over 10 years. But that figure is disputed by Republicans.

    “CBO and JCT estimated that the March 2010 health care legislation would reduce budget deficits over the 2010–2019 period and in subsequent years; consequently, we expect that repealing that legislation would increase budget deficit,” CBO director Doug Elmendorf wrote in his analysis.

    The analysis also finds that, under repeal, fewer Americans would have health insurance and those who purchase in the individual market would pay more for insurance, with the ACA’s subsidies abolished.

    The House Rules Committee meets today on the health repeal legislation with a procedural vote scheduled tomorrow and a floor vote next Wednesday. The new Republican rules will say that no bills can pass if they add to the deficit, but Republicans are making an exception to their own rules for the repeal bill.

    Micheal Steel, spokesman for Speaker John Boehner, brushed off the estimate as faulty accounting.

    “There is no one that believes the Washington Democrats’ job-killing healthcare law will lower costs, because it won’t. That’s why we pledged to repeal it, and replace it with common-sense reforms that will actually work,” he told POLITICO. “As Budget Chairman Paul Ryan has noted, the CBO score excludes the $115 billion needed to implement the law. It double-counts $521 billion in Social Security payroll taxes, CLASS Act premiums, and Medicare cuts. It strips a costly doc-fix provision that was included in initial score. It measures 10 years of revenues to offset 6 years of new spending. Even the Administration’s own actuaries have said it won’t reduce the deficit.”

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    CBO: Health reform repeal would add $230 billion to deficit by 2021
    by Joan McCarter
    Thu Jan 06, 2011 at 10:50:03 AM PST

    The GOP has already shown they'll play fast and loose with their own budget rules, exempting health reform repeal from they're new "CutGo" rule. So they've proven they care more about making petty political points than reducing the deficit, but here's what we're actually talking about: $230 billion in 10 years, and a trillion over the next two decades:

    As a result of changes in direct spending and revenues, CBO expects that enacting H.R. 2 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.

    But there's more:

    Effects on the Number of People with Health Insurance

    Under H.R. 2, about 32 million fewer nonelderly people would have health insurance in 2019, leaving a total of about 54 million nonelderly people uninsured. The share of legal nonelderly residents with insurance coverage in 2019 would be about 83 percent, compared with a projected share of 94 percent under current law (and 83 percent currently).

    Effects on Health Insurance Premiums

    If H.R. 2 was enacted, premiums for health insurance in the individual market would be somewhat lower than under current law, mostly because the average insurance policy in this market would cover a smaller share of enrollees’ costs for health care and a slightly narrower range of benefits. Although premiums in the individual market would be lower, on average, under H.R. 2 than under current law, many people would end up paying more for health insurance—because under current law, the majority of enrollees purchasing coverage in that market would receive subsidies via the insurance exchanges, and H.R. 2 would eliminate those subsidies.

    Premiums for employment-based coverage obtained through large employers would be slightly higher under H.R. 2 than under current law. Premiums for employment-based coverage obtained through small employers might be slightly higher or slightly lower (reflecting uncertainty about the impact of the enacted legislation on premiums in that market). [emphasis mine]

    Americans would be paying more for less, because remember that the prohibitions on recissions and denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions would be gone. Additionally, a larger share of premiums would be going to administrative costs and not to actual health care--the minimum medical loss ratio that determines how much of a premium dollar has to be spent on care would be gone.

    So to sum up, the American people would pay more for less. Meanwhile, the deficit would be substantially increased. The Republican way. While this is all kabuki to play to the teabagger base, and repeal won't actually happen, it's important to know this about the Republicans: they don't care about the deficit. The GOP base doesn't care about the deficit. Their so-called principles are a sham.

    (Note: in a previous story, I linked to a CBO estimate from August, 2010 that estimated repeal of Medicare provisions adding as much as $455 billion to the deficit in the next decade. That estimate was specific to repeals Sen. Mike Crapo asked about regarding his bill that would have repealed the Medicare sections of the law. The savings from Medicare are offset in the bill as a whole with increases in other spending as well as other revenue increases, which got us to $143B in net deficit reduction in the first decade and over a trillion in the second decade last year. Since we're now a year later, we're getting into a year of the bigger deficit reductions in the out decade, hence the $230B in deficit increases between 2012-2021 that would come as a result of repeal.)

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    Repeal of health care overhaul advances in House
    By Alan Silverleib, CNNJanuary 7, 2011 11:41 a.m. EST

    Washington (CNN) -- Legislation repealing President Obama's health care overhaul cleared a key procedural hurdle in the House of Representatives on Friday, advancing a top priority of the new Republican congressional majority.

    The sharply partisan 236-181 vote probably will set up a final House vote to undo the measure next Wednesday.

    Almost every Republican voted to advance the measure; nearly every Democrat opposed it.

    While a successful repeal vote would fulfill a GOP campaign promise, the measure is considered to have virtually no chance of surviving either the Democratic-controlled Senate or a promised presidential veto.

    "We will vote to repeal Obamacare again and again until we consign their government takeover to the ash heap of history where it belongs," said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana. "Welcome to the 112th Congress. American people -- this is your week."

    "We are setting in motion an effort to repeal President Obama's job killing bill ... and replace it with real solutions," said California GOP Rep. David Dreier, the chairman of the House Rules Committee. "We want to start with a clean slate."

    Democrats blasted the new Republican majority for pushing for a final vote on the measure without allowing consideration of any amendments, which they characterized as a violation of the GOP pledge for a more open legislative process.

    Democrats also seized on Thursday's release of an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which concluded that a repeal of the health care overhaul will add $230 billion to the federal debt over the next decade.

    Republicans have exempted a repeal of the health care law from new rules prohibiting legislation from adding to the debt. At the same time, they have questioned the CBO analysis, asserting that it was based on unrealistic economic and fiscal assumptions originally provided by Democrats.

    "The numbers don't lie," said Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-New York. "Republicans have long valued the work" of the CBO. But now that they don't like its estimates, "they have taken to questioning (its) work."

    Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Massachusetts, blasted Republicans for "reopening an old ideological battle" and stripping people of new benefits provided by the reform, such as a ban on annual and lifetime benefit caps.

    "We should be focusing on jobs and the economy," he declared.

    "The Republican Party has become little more than an arm of the insurance monopolies," said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas.

    Fifty-four percent of Americans oppose the new health care law, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released December 27. Forty-three percent support the measure.

    Only 37%, however, oppose the law because they believe it is too liberal. More than six in 10 Americans support specific provisions in the measure preventing insurance companies from dropping coverage for seriously ill people or denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

    Six in 10 Americans oppose the law's requirement for all Americans to obtain health care coverage, according to the survey.


    It really doesn't matter what most Americans want. The liberal elite know what is best for we Americans lol.

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    Elitists Blinded by Liberal Arrogance
    October 31, 2010

    By Ken Faulkenberry

    The elitists, both Republicans and Democrats, are blinded by liberal arrogance and the belief that only government can solve problems. Elitists believe only they are smart enough to lead the ignorant masses and save the nation and ultimately the world. This is evident throughout the Obama agenda and frequent comments demeaning those who disagree with them.

    It is because the elitist believe they know best that they seek control of the people through powerful centralized government. Centralized government means power is concentrated in the hands of a few. Big government and socialist policies require control of the people and eventually leads to tyranny. President Reagan rightly said “Governments don’t control things. A Government can’t control the economy without controlling the people”. Having control of healthcare is the ultimate in power and control over the people. That is why Obamacare requires mandates, penalties, fines, and centralization of power.

    Of course the powerful try to sell their agenda by convincing people they will benefit or “need” the government programs. If bribery doesn’t work, they resort to fear mongering. The best example being the 1994-5 welfare reform debate when opponents claimed there was going to be millions of homeless and starving children if welfare were cut. In reality, due to passage, welfare roles were reduced by 50% and millions were lifted out of poverty as they joined the workforce.

    If the elitist weren’t so into believing in themselves, and actually studied history, they would have to admit socialism and centralized control have never brought prosperity to anyone but those who had the power. Whether it’s at the state or national level, the high taxing centralized governments have had less growth and stagnant job creation when compared to those which embraced free market capitalism and decentralized government. High tax states such as California are failing while low tax states such as Texas are thriving. The failure of socialist nations is too long to even mention. The best example would be to compare the failure of communist North Korea and the miraculous growth of South Korea which embraced freedom.

    The elitists are dangerous because their ideas are anti-freedom. We must resist the temptation to have government “take care of us”. Despite the change in direction we experienced in the midterm election we have a tough fight for freedom and individual responsibility ahead of us. We must repeal Obamacare, cut government spending and bureaucracies, cut taxes, and return power to states, localities, and individuals. Otherwise, if the elitists have their way we will be dependent on them for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That has never ended well.

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