Human Events Blog

ObamaCare Bleeds Another Fifty Billion

Neil Munro of the Daily Caller brings us the latest news about the worst legislation of the modern era:

Federal payments required by President Barack Obama’s health care law are being understated by as much as $50 billion per year because official budget forecasts ignore the cost of insuring many employees’ spouses and children, according to a new analysis. The result could cost the U.S. Treasury hundreds of billions of dollars during the first ten years of the new health care law’s implementation.

Wait… what?  The official budget forecasts assumed nobody would want to extend insurance to their families?  How could such an incredibly boneheaded mistake have been made?

“The Congressional Budget Office has never done a cost-estimate of this [because] they were expressly told to do their modeling on single [person] coverage,” said Richard Burkhauser in a telephone interview Monday. Burkhauser is an economist who teaches in Cornell University’s department of policy analysis and management.

Ah, that explains it.  It wasn’t a “mistake.”  It was a lie.

Burkhauser figures that roughly 12.7% of workers “would gain by transferring themselves and their families into the federal exchanges,” cranking up the deficit-blasting costs of ObamaCare by another $500 billion over 10 years.  That’s not far from the amount of income that would be gained if the Democrats’ constant demand to end the “Bush tax cuts for the rich” was satisfied.  Grabbing a few hundred billion in tax revenue over 10 years is worth provoking a major budget crisis; a few hundred billion added to the deficit through the ultimate Big Government boondoggle is a trifle that voters shouldn’t worry their pretty little heads about.

ObamaCare’s failures seem to come in $500 billion increments.  That’s the amount of money that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was forced to admit was double-counted for both ObamaCare and Medicare. 

Right out of the gate, despite a great deal of fraudulent media spin, ObamaCare was projected to add over $109 billion to the deficit during the next ten years by the Congressional Budget Office… and like all CBO estimates, that figure took a great many of Obama’s assumptions on faith.  Furthermore, the $109 billion number was achieved by including ten years of tax increases, but only six years of benefits.  That’s the rationale behind those wonderful ObamaCare waivers – they’re supposed to tide favored unions and corporations over, until the full magic of ObamaCare begins in 2014.

Without that little trick, ObamaCare’s deficit impact would be close to double the published total.  Add in $52 billion stolen from Social Security – the program Obama never tires of treating as a piggy bank, since his vaunted “payroll tax cut for the middle class” is also funded out of Social Security revenue.  Toss on $72 billion supposedly “saved” by creating a trust fund that would need to be repaid someday, and will probably be raided long before then… just like Social Security.  Now you’re talking about $350 billion in deficit spending, on top of the $500 billion Medicare swindle and the $500 billion “family coverage” fraud. 

That blows away fully half of the best-case deficit reduction from the Budget Control Act of 2011… and most of those savings are back-loaded into 2016 and beyond, when today’s Congress will have absolutely no power to keep its promises.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg with ObamaCare.  More surprises lurk within the nooks and crannies of this flabby legislation.  More of its deceptive assumptions will be challenged.  Among other fantasies, ObamaCare is supposed to promote innovations in medical technology that will result in cost savings, and reduce administrative costs – the exact opposite of what every other socialist program in human history has done.

ObamaCare’s crushing effect on job creation is costing the Treasury billions in lost revenue.  It killed thousands of jobs at companies like Caterpillar, John Deere, Prudential, and AT&T within weeks of its passage.  It will exterminate entire categories of employment, by making it impossible for employers to view low-end labor as cost effective.  More jobs will be lost as the true and secret goal of ObamaCare is realized, and private insurance companies are driven from the market… dumping even more people into those deficit-fueled “public exchanges.” 

The American people, and the financial markets, will know Washington is getting serious about deficit reduction when ObamaCare is dead.


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