Talk About "Inconvenient" Fiscal Truths!

Carol Platt Liebau

11/22/2009 5:40:49 PM - Carol Platt Liebau
David Broder takes it to the Democrats, who are trying to sprinkle the stinking health care budget numbers with fairy dust and fantasy:

Perhaps the biggest of those [Democrat-sponsored budget] maneuvers was Reid's decision to postpone the start of subsidies to help the uninsured buy policies from mid-2013 to January 2014 -- long after taxes and fees levied by the bill would have begun.

Even with that change, there is plenty in the CBO report to suggest that the promised budget savings may not materialize. If you read deep enough, you will find that under the Senate bill, "federal outlays for health care would increase during the 2010-2019 period" -- not decline. The gross increase would be almost $1 trillion -- $848 billion, to be exact, mainly to subsidize the uninsured. The net increase would be $160 billion.

And the net increase is that small -- yes, that "small" -- because Democrats are assuming that there will be $420 billion (that's half a trillion) in cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health programs.

So the American public is left with two terrible options under ObamaCare: Either there are going to be unprecedented cuts to Medicare and other federal health programs -- or the program is going to be a budget buster on an unprecedented scale. 

What's more, note the Democrats' budget gimmickry: The $848 billion increase in federal health expenses -- from 2010-2019 -- is for a one-time starting period in which taxes and fees will have been collected for years longer than expenses have been paid out.  If the Democrats were willing to compare apples to apples -- not giving tax collection a "head start" but measuring after subsidies are being paid, as well  -- the cost would be far higher, over a trillion dollars. 

Yes, a trillion.  And it won't even cover all the uninsured.  I guess those costs will come the next time the Democrats have the White House and 60 Senate seats?