The House Republicans’ move forward to repeal ObamaCare has made Congressional Democrats fighting mad. The Democrats’ new mantra on Capitol Hill is that repealing their $1.2 trillion health care law will increase the deficit. The GOP response has been both incredulous of that claim and hard-hitting.
“I don’t think anyone in this town believes that repealing ObamaCare is going to increase the deficit,” said an exasperated House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) after the third question from the media about the Democrats’ talking points.
“We made a commitment to the American people. We’re listening to the American people. They want this bill repealed. We are going to repeal it,” said Boehner on Thursday at his first press conference as Speake
“It will ruin the best health care system in the world. It will bankrupt our nation, and it will ruin our economy!” said a fired-up Boehner.
The health care reform law was the biggest legislation from the Congressional Democrats and President Obama in the last Congress. The law was also the central reason the Democrats lost the Midterm Elections.
They are loath to see the Republicans repeal, defund and replace their law.
“Not only would repeal of health care reform add to our deficit, it would dump more than 30 million Americans from coverage who will be protected by our new health care reform act,” protested Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (R-Ill.) on Thursday. “So more than 50 million Americans won’t have the protection of health insurance. That is a personal family tragedy, even beyond our discussion of the deficit.”
Leading up to the Friday start of the debate on ObamaCare repeal, Boehner released a 19-page, detailed report titled “ObamaCare: A Budget Busting, Job-Killing Health Care Law.”
“Today we are releasing a report that examines the health care law’s impact on our economy and our budget,” he said. “This health care law — by raising taxes, imposing new mandates, and increasing uncertainty — is already destroying jobs in our country. It will continue to destroy jobs in America unless we do something about it.”
Boehner’s report documents the fiscal and economic consequences of ObamaCare on the nation. The economic consequences include an estimated 650,000 jobs lost. Also, the report says the health care law when fully implemented will cost $2.6 trillion and add $701 billion to the deficit in the first 10 years.
The Democrats’ argument that repealing ObamaCare will increase the deficit is predicated on their claim that the health care law will reduce the deficit.
“Only in Washington does not spending a trillion dollars and not growing the size of government equal an increase in the deficit,” said a Republican aide.
On her last day as Speaker on Tuesday, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the savings from the health care law as “over $100 billion in the first 10 years, and over $1 trillion in the next 10 years following that.
“So to say we’re going to repeal it is…to do very serious violence to the national debt and deficit,” said Pelosi.
Pelosi predicted last year that the health care law would “create four million jobs — 400,000 jobs almost immediately.”
Democrats say repealing the health care law would increase the deficit by $143 billion, a claim that is disputed by Republicans. The new House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan
(R-Wis.) pushed back at the Democrats’ accusations.
“The Democrats’ health care law is a budget-buster. Misleading claims on its deficit impact exclude the $115 billion needed to implement the law and over $500 billion in double-counting Social Security payroll taxes, CLASS Act premiums, and Medicare reductions,” said Ryan in a statement.
The Democrats and Republicans debate about ObamaCare’s cost is over two issues: the accuracy of the CBO score and the real-life costs that have occurred since the bill was signed
The CBO scoring of the bill, which means counting its cost to the government, is the crux of the current debate. The CBO estimates the cost of a bill based on the bill’s language, much of which is based on the assumptions of the majority party that writes the legislation.
“CBO scores what is put in front of them — and what Democrats put in front of them last year was legislation packed with smoke and mirrors to hide the impact of trillions of dollars in new spending,” stated Ryan.
The law was written on assuming 10 years of tax increases to offset six years of new spending, which makes for fuzzy accounting. Also, the Democrats took out some of the bill’s more expensive spending provisions and enacted them separately, which increased the deficit.
“The CBO can only provide a score based on the assumptions that are given to them. And if you go back and look at the health care bill, and the assumptions that were given to them, you see all of the double counting that went on. You see the fact that the ‘doc-fix’ wasn’t even part of the bill,” said Boehner.
In fact, Obama’s own appointees at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) stated that ObamaCare would increase spending by more than $311 billion over the next 10 years.
“There is no question that the creation of a trillion dollar open-ended entitlement is a fiscal train wreck,” stated Chairman Ryan.
Also, the Democrats are not taking into account the devastating impact that small businesses and families have already incurred since Obama signed the bill last March.
“The Democrats have a suspended reality,” said a Republican aide. “ObamaCare has already hurt small business, and insurance premium costs have gone up. They aren’t looking at reality, and they don’t use any common sense.”
In particular, the mandate that businesses file a 1099 tax form for any transaction over $600 has had such a negative impact that even Obama has said the provision needs to be repealed.
Furthermore, businesses are acting cautiously and not hiring because of the uncertainty of how a fully implemented ObamaCare would affect their bottom lines.
And many families already are hit hard by their insurance companies raising their insurance premiums by as much as 20%.
The United States is currently $14 trillion in debt. The government deficit — how much it takes in from taxes compared to how much it spends — is about $1.3 trillion a year. The House GOP plans to cut spending back to 2008 levels this year to begin to cut the budget deficit and the national debt.
“With 10% unemployment and massive debt, the American people want us to focus on cutting spending and growing our economy. That’s what repealing the health care bill is all about,” said Speaker Boehner.
The House will start debate on Friday on the repeal of ObamaCare, and the final vote is expected next Wednesday.
“I hope the House will act next week to repeal the job-killing health care law so we can get started on replacing it with common-sense reforms that will reduce the cost of health insurance in America,” said Boehner.