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Obama Appointed Medicare Trustee Exposes True Cost of ObamaCare

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

A public trustee appointed by President Obama to oversee Medicare and Social Security has issued an extensive research report finding that ObamaCare will increase government spending by far more than a trillion dollars while adding hundreds of billions of new debt.  The report by Charles Blahous completely refutes the claim by Obama and the Democrats that the legislation would magically increase access and quality of care for millions of Americans while reducing the size of the deficit.  The opening paragraph of the report is damning:

"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) signed into law by President Obama in 2010 will significantly worsen the federal government’s fiscal position relative to previous law. Supporters argued that this comprehensive health care reform would deliver a much-needed correction to the government’s unsustainable fiscal outlook and would benefit the country’s overall fiscal situation. However, between now and 2021, the ACA is expected to add as much as $530 billion to federal deficits while increasing spending by more than $1.15 trillion. Despite the fondest hopes from its supporters, the passage of the ACA unambiguously darkens a dim fiscal picture." Full report here

Charles Blahous, Ph.D., a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason Institute (full bio).  He also currently serves as one of the two public trustees for Social Security and Medicare Programs, appointed to the board by Barack Obama in 2009.  Blahous previously served as deputy director of the National Economic Council for President George W. Bush. 

For more than a decade, Dr. Blahous has specialized in federal entitlement program policy and has published two books on the need for social security reform.  Prior to serving in both the Obama and Bush Administrations, Blahous was on the staff of Senators Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Alan Simpson (R-WY).

Blahous's report exposes – yet again – the shell game accounting and erroneous assumptions that the Democrats employed to cook the books prior to passage of the legislation in March, 2010 including the double counting of proposed Medicare "savings" and dubious accounting assumptions.  Blahous sounds the alarm on the health care exchanges forced on the various states by the legislation. 

The CBO estimates the exchange subsidies and related spending will total $777 billion from 2012-2021.  But, Blahous warns that far more subsidy-eligible workers will be dumped into the exchanges than originally estimated as businesses drop health care benefits for their workforce.  Further, the Medicare Trustee worries that Congress will gradually increase the level of subsidized benefits as politicians have been prone to do with all other entitlement programs.  These two big variables could explode the already huge costs of ObamaCare far beyond the already staggering amounts.

Blahous's findings are added to an already lengthy list of similar reports that have exposed the true cost of ObamaCare and the legislation's infringement of individual freedom of both patient and doctor.  So, it is not at all surprising that public disdain for ObamaCare continues to grow. 

According to a new ABC News/Washington Post public opinion poll more than 2/3 of Americans believe the Supreme Court should toss out the entire law (38%) or at least the mandate clause (29%).   Support for the overall legislation is at the lowest point since ABC/WaPo began tracking public opinion in August 2009. 

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