House Health Plan Not Deficit-Neutral - Opposing Views

House Health Plan Not Deficit-Neutral

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This past Friday on MSNBC Center for American Progress researcher Igor Volsky told MSNBC “the House bill is deficit neutral over ten years” This is flat out untrue. Here is the CBO letter (pdf) that Volsky was referring to. Click on it. Search for the term “deficit neutral” … or even just “neutral”. You’ll notice that those terms do not appear anywhere in the document. This is what the CBO letter actually says:

According to CBO’s and JCT’s assessment, enacting H.R. 3200 would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period.

And if you have any doubt about CBO’s scoring of the House plan, here is what CBO director Doug Elmendorf told Congress last week:

Under questioning by members of the Senate Budget Committee, CBO director Douglas Elmendorf said bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose “the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a signficant amount.”

“On the contrary,” Elmendorf said, “the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.”

And just what is the impact of our nation’s long-term deficits, which the CBO confirms the House health plan only makes worse? Elmendorf explains on his blog:

Large budget deficits would reduce national saving, leading to more borrowing from abroad and less domestic investment, which in turn would depress economic growth in the United States. Over time, accumulating debt would cause substantial harm to the economy.

And those are just the budget impacts of the House health plan. The employer mandates, the surtax on small businesses, and the individual mandates are all economy killers too.


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