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article imageOp-Ed: CBO quietly admits Obamacare costs are incalculable

By Larry Clifton     Jun 5, 2014 in Politics
Washington - Part of the Obamacare mantra was that it would reduce the deficit. The Congressional Budget Office, supposedly bipartisan, said it was so. Now, the CBO says "never mind," to borrow a phrase from Roseanne Roseannadanna.
Mr. Obama and Democratic Party leadership touted deficit reduction and promised Americans they could keep their doctors and their insurance under the massive Affordable Health Care act.
Judging by Mr. Obama’s comfortable reelection, most Americans believed the Democrats.
Unfortunately for millions of voters who thought Obamacare would save them money and allow them to keep their doctors while cutting the deficit - none of it was true. Turns out, the CBO can no longer estimate the unpopular healthcare bill’s long-term effects on the deficit. In addition, with Obamacare in its first year, Americans are now being told that millions of Americans lost their insurance and premium costs are about to jump significantly,
While tens of millions of patients could not keep their doctors, no one, not even the CBO, can estimate how much Obamacare will cost the government, businesses or individuals.
The latest punch to taxpayers was quietly delivered in April when CBO officials signaled that it can “no longer make that projection; that the law had been changed and delayed so much that there is no longer a credible way to estimate the long-term effects on the deficit of all elements of the program taken together.”
Not to toot the Republican’s horn, but isn’t this why, or at least partly why, not one of them voted for the Affordable Health Care Act?
CBO and JCT can no longer determine exactly how the provisions of the ACA that are not related to the expansion of health insurance coverage have affected their projections of direct spending and revenues,” the CBO wrote. “The provisions that expanded coverage established entirely new programs or components of programs that can be isolated and reassessed. Isolating the incremental effects of those provisions on previously existing programs and revenues four years after enactment of the ACP is not possible.”
One doesn’t have to be an economist to understand such political jabberwocky. It means, like so many other government programs, the CBO never had a clue where this was going. They were just the “unbiased” messenger for the White House.
The CBO has consistently projected that President Obama's overhaul will reduce the deficit, and the agency estimated that the Republicans’ 2011 effort to repeal the legislation would increase deficits by $210 billion from 2010 to 2021.
One could not have written a better campaign script for Mr. Obama and the Democrats in 2012. Too bad none of it was true, that is unless one is to believe the agency that is clueless in the first year of Obamacare ever had a feint notion about the year 2021.
Meanwhile, the Democrats seemed baffled by polls that show them on the brink of losing control of the Senate with Republicans keeping a firm grasp on the House.
“From purely an analyst’s perspective, I don’t think I would consider this terribly exciting,” Bill Hoagland, a senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center and a former Senate Republican budget expert, said in an interview Wednesday. “But politically, I think it’s dynamite.”
Whether the CBO’s admission that the cost of Obamacare is suddenly incalculable turns out to be campaign “dynamite” is open to debate. However, one can be sure that Republicans will light the fuse in coming political ads.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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