Two years ago this month, Democrats were on the brink of jamming through a massive federal intrusion into the American healthcare system. Despite a year-long drumbeat of fear-mongering, claptrap promises, and disingenuous cajoling from the president, public opposition to the proposal remained firm. As the fateful vote approached, Democrat leaders desperately needed a fig leaf to conceal the budget-busting math of their statist designs. To that end, they handed the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office a hopelessly distorted set of "facts" and assumptions, off of which the group was required to render a cost estimate known as a "scoring." Pelosi et al got what they asked for. CBO spat out a ten-year Obamacare price tag of $940 Billion, a figure that the White House and Congressional Democrats repeated endlessly in the media. This scoring, they bragged, would result in tens of billions in deficit savings over the same decade. Voters were asked to ignore the counter-intuitive message ("we're saving money by creating a giant new entitlement program!") and join the celebration. Though average Americans never got on board, just enough House Democrats did, many of whom wrapped themselves a $940 Billion veil of "fiscal responsibility" to rationalize their decision. At every step of the process, conservatives predicted that the law would end up far exceeding this estimate, which relied on phony math and mind-blowing gimmicks. Today, the hideous and unaffordable truth was laid bare by the very same CBO:
President Obama's national health care law will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, according to a new projection released today by the Congressional Budget Office, rather than the $940 billion forecast when it was signed into law. Today, the CBO released new projections from 2013 extending through 2022, and the results are as critics expected: the ten-year cost of the law's core provisions to expand health insurance coverage has now ballooned to $1.76 trillion. That's because we now have estimates for Obamacare's first nine years of full implementation, rather than the mere six when it was signed into law. Only next year will we get a true ten-year cost estimate, if the law isn't overturned by the Supreme Court or repealed by then. Given that in 2022, the last year available, the gross cost of the coverage expansions are $265 billion, we're likely looking at about $2 trillion over the first decade, or more than double what Obama advertised.
The enraging reality is that Democrats absolutely knew this was coming -- some accidentally admitted it -- yet they kept up the charade just long enough the ensure passage. It's comforting to know more than a few paid dearly for their perfidy in 2010, but that doesn't change the fact that taxpayers and future generations will remain saddled with this monstrosity unless it's thrown out by the Supreme Court or legislatively repealed. We cannot afford Obamacare. Hell, we can't afford the healthcare programs we already had in place pre-Obamacare. Democrats intentionally misled a deeply skeptical public to achieve their mammoth power grab -- behavior better known as "lying." The only way to make this right is to defeat this president and fully repeal his signature "achievement." I'll leave you with two clips. Up first is Obama describing his deep commitment to deficit reduction via entitlement expansion (think about that!) during his infamous smoke-and-mirrors address to Congress in 2009 (skip ahead to the 29-minute mark):
“I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future. (Applause.) I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.”
For a deep dive into Obamacare's broken promises, read the Hot Air piece I co-authored with Mary Katharine Ham in 2010. It could easily be twice as long today, as more and more awful news comes to light. Next, here's Paul Ryan exposing every last one of the dishonest manuevers and accounting games Democrats employed to manufacture their ginned-up CBO score. Right on all counts, Congressman, as today's report confirms:
Ah yes, the CLASS Act. Remember, these clarion calls were delivered before Obamacare passed. Anyone with even a loose grasp of math could recognize that Paul Ryan was telling the truth, yet Democrats plugged their ears and stampeded ahead anyway. What a disgrace. No wonder this crap sandwich remains so popular.
UPDATE - Another wonderful CBO surprise, Obama-style:
At $1.2 trillion, the federal deficit will be $93 billion larger than previously expected in fiscal year 2012, due almost entirely to the cost of a payroll tax cut , the Congressional Budget Office projected Tuesday in its March baseline update.
Obama's solution to all of this? Nothing but more spending and debt. But his Treasury Secretary would like everyone to know how much Team Obama hates Republicans' ideas to stem the red tide. So there's that.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography