Of all the claims deployed in favor of ObamaCare, and there are many, the most preposterous is that a new open-ended entitlement will somehow reduce the budget deficit. Insure 32 million more people, and save money too! The even more remarkable spectacle is that Washington seems to be taking this claim seriously in advance of the House's repeal vote next week. Some things in politics you just can't make up.Terminating trillions of dollars in future spending will "heap mountains of debt onto our children and grandchildren" and "do very serious violence to the national debt and deficit," Nancy Pelosi said at her farewell press conference as Speaker. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius chimed in that "we can't afford repeal," as if ObamaCare's full 10-year cost of $2.6 trillion once all the spending kicks in is a taxpayer bargain.The basis for such claims, to the extent a serious one exists, is the Congressional Budget Office's analysis this week of the repeal bill, which projects it will "cost" the government $230 billion through 2021. Because CBO figures ObamaCare will reduce the deficit by the same amount, repealing it will supposedly do the opposite. The White House promptly released a statement saying repeal would "explode the deficit."Meanwhile, other Democrats have taken up arms about House procedure. The GOP adopted a budget rule that says repeal doesn't have to be "paid for," and the press corps is treating this exemption as a scandal against Washington decency.In a memo, the inimitable Pete Stark spied a GOP plot "to shove through a massive bill"—the repeal measure is all of two pages—while Henry Waxman and other outgoing committee chairmen shook with outrage about "an offense to good government."
Saturday, January 8, 2011
From The Wall Street Journal on Jan. 8: