An opinion by Patricia L Johnson
Determining whether or not a particular bill will be beneficial to this country generally begins with a request to the Congressional Budget Office [CBO] to determine costs involved and budget impact.
In March of 2010 two laws were enacted by the Obama administration pertaining to health care in the U.S., the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-152.
The Republican controlled House of Representatives wants to repeal health care and to that end requested the CBO to review H.R. 2, the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, introduced into Congress on January 5, 2011 [the day the Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives. A vote on this bill will take place on January 19, 2011.
The January 6, 2011 response to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), from CBO Director, Douglas W. Elmendorf, consists of a full 10 pages, but there is only one section we all should read, on page 4, as follows:
Impact on the Federal Budget in the First Decade
As a result of changes in direct spending and revenues, CBO expects that enacting H.R. 2 would probably increase federal budget deficits over the 2012-2019 period by a total of roughly $145 billion, plus or minus the effects of technical and economic changes that CBO and JCT will include in the forthcoming estimate. That figure consists of the following two components:
· About $130 billion, representing the net reduction in deficits over the 2012-2019 period expected to result from the health care provision of the enacted legislation (as estimated by CBO and JCT last March) 3plus
· About $15 billion, representing the reduction brought about by the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010 in the estimated cost of subsidies to be provided through the insurance exchanges through 2019.
In other words, hypothetically speaking*, if the Republicans could repeal “Obamacare”, they would increase the U.S. deficit by $145 billion dollars.
*If the repeal bill passed the U.S. House, more than likely there would not be enough votes to pass the Senate, and in the unlikely event it did pass the Senate, the bill would be vetoed by President Obama.
That being the case, why are the Republicans wasting time and money on this bill? All the time the CBO spent determining the outcome of repeal is just a waste of time and money. Why are they even bringing up a vote on a repeal that would cost an additional $145 billion?
The Republicans spent months talking about how they’re going to cut expenses and cut the deficit once they have control, but so far all they’ve done is talk.