Tag Archives: Congressional Budget Office

Now For The Numbers….

So–the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has released its analysis of “TrumpCare.”

Here are their numbers:

14 million Americans will lose their insurance by 2018
21 million Americans will lose their insurance by 2020
24 million Americans will lose their insurance by 2026
There will be 52 million Americans with no health insurance by 2026 (for comparison, there were 46 million uninsured before Obamacare became law)
The bill will cut $880 billion from Medicaid by 2026
15 percent of Planned Parenthood patients will lose access to care
A 64-year-old making $26,500 would have to pay $14,600 for insurance in 2026 (for comparison, that 64-year-old pays $1,700 under Obamacare), and

After transferring $275 billion from public-health spending to the richest 1 or 2 percent via tax cuts,  it will reduce budget deficits by $336 billion between 2018 and 2026.

AHCA–aka “Trumpcare” or perhaps “Ryancare”– would reduce deficits by $336 billion but would cut government spending on healthcare programs by $1.2 trillion.

When you think about it, this is a brilliant approach to deficit reduction that we could apply across the board.

We can cut billions out of the budget if we stop paving Interstate highways and inspecting and fixing bridges. We can reduce the deficit significantly if we stop hiring those high-priced CPAs to monitor bank compliance with financial regulations and enforce the SEC’s oversight of corporate securities offerings. We can save another bundle if we no longer enforce rules against air and water pollution (actually, Scott Pruitt, the new EPA Chief, has already begun that effort.) Betsy DeVos assures us that schools don’t need oversight, so we don’t need the Department of Education. We probably don’t need those bean-counters at the CBO or the Bureau of Labor Statistics, either.

And of course, we could stop paying Social Security to all those useless old people. Think of what that would save us!

It’s true that if we did all these things, government would no longer function, and we’d be thrown into a Hobbesian, dog-eat-dog world, but that’s actually the result many Republican Congress-critters have been working toward. The President wouldn’t mind, because he really has no idea what most of government does anyway.

Of course, if we wanted to make a real dent in the national debt, we could dramatically reduce the bloated amounts we spend on the military. But something tells me that might be a bridge too far…..

When Success is Failure…

There are lies, damn lies and (misrepresentation of) statistics.

Before the Affordable Care Act passed–when the country was debating the whys and wherefores of reform–proponents of major change (of whom I was one) pointed to the undeniable problems with America’s patchwork health delivery: the fact that we spent more per-person than any other country (by massive amounts) with significantly worse outcomes; that millions of Americans couldn’t obtain coverage either because they couldn’t afford it or due to pre-existing conditions; and that millions of people were stuck in jobs they hated because they’d lose coverage if they quit. 

How many new businesses, we asked, weren’t started because the would-be entrepreneur had a child with a pre-existing condition? How many people of a “certain age” wanted to cut back, but couldn’t because they’d lose their health coverage? How many Americans were effectively “slaves” to a job they didn’t want, staying solely for the health insurance?

Eliminating that “slavery” was a major goal of reform. It was one reason that many of us argued for decoupling health insurance from employment entirely, and making it part of social security, as it is elsewhere. We didn’t get that done, but the ACA is at least a step in the right direction.

A couple of days ago, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report showing real progress toward that goal of freeing people from jobs they hated:

With the expansion of insurance coverage, more workers will choose not to work and others will choose to work fewer hours than they might have otherwise, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The usual suspects immediately went into propaganda mode. “See,” they screamed, “Obamacare is killing jobs.”

Of course, that isn’t what the CBO said. It said people were voluntarily leaving jobs. The jobs are still there, and will need to be filled when the newly-freed depart–which should be good news to unemployed folks looking for work.

Somehow, in the fevered imaginations of the uninformed–and the dishonest rhetoric of the politically self-serving–meeting one of the original goals of health reform is evidence that it doesn’t work.

I’m getting dizzy from the spin cycle.