Thursday, March 18, 2010

CBO Numbers: Good News for Democrats

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has released preliminary numbers regarding the Senate healthcare bill with reconciliation fixes. The CBO analysis is good news for Democrats.

According to the CBO preliminary numbers (a final report is forthcoming):
The bill will cost $940 billion over the first 10 years and reduce the deficit by $130 billion during that period. In the second 10 years -- so, 2020 to 2029 -- it will reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion. The legislation will cover 32 million Americans, or 95 percent of the legal population.
The CBO preliminary release has given Democrats needed momentum. Republicans, however, are scrambling to dismiss the numbers.


Matt P. said...

No Darren. You are wrong. Let's go to the original source rather than Democratic talking points. Perhaps in your mind "scrambling" is actually pointing out EXACTLY what the gamed- CBO document says.

The problem is, the CBO estimate does not include the $1.2 trillion number. Savings during the 2020–2029 period would fall in a “broad range around one-half percent of GDP”; presumably, the Democrats extrapolated from this number to arrive at $1.2 trillion. But such an exact estimate can’t be given because, as CBO notes, “The imprecision of that calculation reflects the even greater degree of uncertainty that attends to it, compared with CBO’s 10-year budget estimates."

Matt P. said...

And now it appears the first part of the original claim is also false.

"Responding to an inquiry from Rep. Paul Ryan, the Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that when you remove certain accounting gimmicks from the Democrats' health care legislation, it actually increases the deficit.
Democrats have touted a CBO report that found that their health care bill would reduce the deficit by $138 billion from 2010 to 2019. But that number assumes that hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare cuts would be used to pay for the new health care entitlement. In a letter to Ryan, the CBO estimates that if the Medicare cuts were used to help shore up the effectively bankrupt Medicare trust fund instead, then the Democrats health care bill would run $260 billion in deficits over the next decade."

CBP estimate here:

Kansas City said...

In partial defesne of Darren, he did not actually say he thought the numbers were accurate. I assume he is too smart to believe that. He said the numbers were good news for democrats, which is true regardless of whether the numbers are a con job.

In criticism of Darren, he misleads through the quote that he indents in his comment. The quote is democratic spin/presentation of the numbers.

Matt P. said...

KC, I find the entire post kinda funny given Darren's post immediately before it where he takes the conservative press to task for some sort of shoddy reporting. Pot, meet kettle.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Matt/KC -- The Medicare Doc Fix is not a part of healthcare reform; it is something that the AMA has been demanding for some time now. In fact, the group only offered qualified support for healthcare reform - precisely because it did not include the Medicare fix.

Ironically, Republicans circulated a fraudulent document saying that Democrats were on board with the fix - and were concealing it in order to have good deficit numbers. Politico leaked the story - and then pulled it back after the fraud was revealed. The CBO's letter to Ryan does not counter these facts.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Here's the CBO letter to Ryan. It did not say anything about accounting gimmicks at all. . Even Fox has run away from this non-starter.

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