25 July 2012

"Obamacare" will reduce the federal deficit

That's the conclusion of the Congressional Budget Office:
President Barack Obama's health care overhaul will shrink rather than increase the nation's huge federal deficits over the next decade, Congress' nonpartisan budget scorekeepers said Tuesday, supporting Obama's contention in a major election-year dispute with Republicans.

About 3 million fewer uninsured people will gain health coverage because of last month's Supreme Court ruling granting states more leeway, and that will cut the federal costs by $84 billion, the Congressional Budget Office said in the biggest changes from earlier estimates.

Republicans have insisted that "Obamacare" will actually raise deficits — by "trillions," according to presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But that's not so, the budget office said...

At the time it was approved in 2010, CBO estimated the law would reduce the deficit by $143 billion from 2010 to 2019. And CBO estimated that last year's Republican repeal legislation would increase deficits by $210 billion from 2010 to 2021. 

That may sound like a lot of money, but it's actually a hair-thin margin at a time when federal deficits are expected to average around $1 trillion a year for the foreseeable future. 
More details at the New York Times.


  1. With the largest tax increase in the history of the world that is not a surprising estimation. Of course that is assuming that the new tax increase is actually used 100% for medical care.

    The CBO estimates are how this plays out with the laws and rules as they currently stand not how they will be in 10 years. That is why they are called estimates.

    In most cases you generally see taxes being used for other budgetary items or additions and new taxations are almost always required at a later date. Of course this new tax will be touted as necessary to "save" health care.

    Either way it sure looks like a way for the Government to get it's hand on your money to spend whichever way they feel it is best for you.

    That is not the America that I know and grew up in...

    1. You're right on one count, it's not the same America you (or I) grew up in. Neither was the America after medicare or social security the same America as before. It was decided that rather than leave the elderly to die in poverty on the streets that we should have a social safety net. Now we're doing the same thing with healthcare for all citizens. Because nobody deserves to die or be forced into poverty because they got sick.

      It's not the same America, it's better.

    2. The "America I grew up in" from 1950-1980 had top marginal individual tax rates averaging about 80%.

    3. Stan, the "America I grew up in" always depended in large part on who you were. It hasn't ever been the same America for all Americans since the day the phrase "All men are created equal" was penned by men who owned slaves.

    4. And lot's of deductions and tax breaks also, that was the published rate not the actual rate... nobody actually paid 80% or even close to it.

      Of coourse back then we also didn't have 49% of the people that pay no income tax...

  2. We also didn't have corporations making millions in profits and paying 0% in taxes, or Presidential Candidates with Swiss Bank Accounts or no bid contracts for hand picked military contractors, or...


  3. "Roughly half of Americans who pay no Federal income tax do so because they simply don't earn enough money. The other half doesn't pay taxes because of special provisions in the tax code that benefit certain taxpayers, notably the elderly and working families with children."


  4. The CBO is given certain rules by which they make their projections.

    In this case, the projections included spending cuts which will not happen and a significant tax hike that will not happen. So, yes, in some possible world, the deficit will be reduced, but even then, it will not be due to Obamacare. Both parties use the CBO for this sort of political chicanery all the time; I've stopped paying attention to it.


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