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October 8th, 2009 1:18 pm
CBO’s Preliminary Cost Analysis on ObamaCare

“Health Care Bill Gets Green Light in Cost Analysis”

That is the gift proponents of government-run health care received this morning in the form of a New York Times headline.  That headline, however, along with its accompanying story about the Congressional Budget Office’s preliminary cost analysis of the Baucus bill, is about as deceptive as the ObamaCare sales job Washington politicians have been employing for months.

CBO’s preliminary cost analysis is just that – a preliminary estimate based on a theoretical framework of ideas approved by the Senate Finance Committee.  It’s preliminary because the actual bill hasn’t been written yet, much less been combined with at least five other, more expensive versions of “reform” circulating in the House and Senate.  As Chris Frates of Politico.com noted yesterday:

While the media and lawmakers often shorthand a CBO letter as a ‘score’ or ‘cost estimate,’ today’s CBO letter is neither. Because the bill is still in ‘conceptual,’ or layman’s terms, CBO’s letter today was a ‘preliminary analysis.’  For it to be an official cost estimate, the bill has to be translated into legislative language.

“And CBO goes to great pains in its letter to make the distinction:

“‘CBO and JCT’s analysis is preliminary in large part because the Chairman’s mark, as amended, has not yet been embodied in legislative language,’ the letter says.”

In other words, is anyone prepared to believe that the most recent CBO cost estimate will even come close to resembling reality once the Baucus bill is combined with the budget-busting provisions of the various other versions of ObamaCare?  After Reid and Pelosi are through with their parliamentary tricks outlined here and here?

Yet liberals and the mainstream media today are giddy with excitement.  Why?  Because regardless of the fact that the CBO letter means nothing in the grand scheme of things, something at which the CBO itself hints, for the first time in this debate they have something – anything – that supports their dream of government-run health care.   Reality be damned. 

Our guess is that the large majority of Americans are still not ready to join their party.  Even taken at face value, CBO’s preliminary claim that the Baucus bill will actually reduce the budget deficit by $81 billion over 10 years simply means that the legislation raises taxes on businesses and individuals and cuts benefits only slightly more than it increases spending, while still leaving 25 million people uninsured.  And the more expensive the final bill gets – don’t believe for a moment that it won’t get more expensive – the greater the tax increases and benefit cuts will become in order to square with the President’s pledge to not sign a bill that adds “one dime” to the deficit.

Isn’t “change” grand?

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