Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bad Economics: GOP Won't Count Cost of Health Care Repeal

As reported by Politico and tons of other media outlets:
The Congressional Budget Office said last year that the health care reform law and its accompanying reconciliation law would reduce the deficit by $143 billion through 2019. That figure is widely disputed and Republicans argue the law would actually increase the deficit. Still, since Republicans’ new rules to govern the House require that nearly all proposed legislation is fully paid for, the new House leaders have exempted repeal of the health care overhaul from such requirements.
Don't get me wrong, I am all for moving towards a system where legislation is paid for as it is passed. However, the Republicans can't just ignore the CBO calculations that repealing the health care reform law will cost upwards of $230 billion over the next decade. Well, I suppose they can, but that is rather like a smoker refusing to acknowledge the science demonstrating that smoking causes cancer because, well, then it would make sense for him to stop smoking. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan (probably) said: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

If the Republicans want to come up with their own alternative analysis that is just as rigorous as the CBO analysis, they are more than welcome to - but they shouldn't state that repealing health care reform will save money "just because," without backing their assertion up. It's dishonest, and it's bad, irresponsible policy-making.

And as a side note: has there ever been a tackier bill title than "the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act"? Especially since repealing the health care reform law could kill up to 400,000 jobs. Oh, the irony ... ?

1 comment:

  1. This from the same people who promised that the Iraq War would only cost $80 billion... I think it's quite indicative of the lengths people will go to to preserve an ideology. I find that an ideology is just a (scientific) theory that you stick to in spite of the facts. When facts contradict your theory, you change the theory. If you change the facts instead, you've got yourself an ideology.