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Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 01/10/2011

No Limit

By Tom Toles

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***
CBO Scandal!
It's the only possible outcome here. The once universally respected Congressional Budget Office has informed Congress that repealing Obama's health-care law will INCREASE the deficit. That's right -- for slow readers -- the law itself REDUCES the deficit. Repealing the law INCREASES the deficit.

The Republicans are all about reducing the loathed, fearsome deficit! The DEFICIT! That hated root of all dangers to the Republic! The warp and woof woof woof! of the howling dogs of the 2010 campaign! The telling, DEFINING issue of our time! The do we stand up and deal with this or end up as a spent, broken nation? And now, NOW, the facts aren't fitting the desired narrative. WHAT TO DO????

Simple! We've been down this road already with climate. Deny the evidence! And when evidence denial doesn't suffice, gin up a fake scandal. Watch for one in a GOP-friendly media outlet near you. --Tom Toles
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By Tom Toles  | January 10, 2011; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Economy and jobs, Health care  
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Comments

PrairieDog60 wrote:

["pararanger, the Brits set up their health care system right after WWII. It has worked wonderfully for the past 60 years, but needs fixing now, as economies have changed since the mid 1940s."]

------------------

PDog, as a good Liberal Democrat once said (Moynihan) "You are entitled to your opinion but not your own facts."

Actually, he also made the following comment during a debate over health insurance "[T]here is no health care crisis in this country." Moynihan (RIP) held a doctorate from Tufts as well as a being a Fulbright Scholar at the London School of Economics. If he were alive today, he would tell you what I'm telling you: the UK NHS, from an economic perspective, is broken!

So, PDog, don't presuppose you are the fountain of all knowledge on the subject of health care. I live in Bath, UK, and I can tell you, the NHS has been a major contributor to the hard economic times here. Only because the Tories and the courageous UK LibDems have a decent plan to fix it does it remain viable.

And having used the German health system, I can tell you it is maddening.

The health care law was implemented as a rule by fiat and that doesn't usually play well in the land of the free. The GOP has it right: go for the repeal and get it on-the-record which politicians support it. Afterward, if the GOP plays their cards right, they'll come up with an alternative package - simpler and more affordable.

The Libs shoved health care down our collective throats; the majority of Americans remain displeased.

Posted by: pararanger22 | January 10, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

The Congressional Budget Office, in an email to Capitol Hill staffers has said that repealing the national health care law would reduce net spending by $540 billion in the ten year period from 2012 through 2021. That number represents the cost of the new provisions, minus Medicare cuts. Repealing the bill would also eliminate $770 billion in taxes. It's the tax hikes in the health care law (along with the Medicare cuts) which accounts for the $230 billion in deficit reduction.

Posted by: tombmagic | January 10, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh come on Toles. You know darn well the CBO was required to use spoon-fed numbers to come up with a net deficit-reduction number. Doc fix? Ain't happened yet. Ain't going to. 10 years of revenue to pay for 6 years of benefits?
The list goes on. Try again.

Posted by: spamsux1 | January 10, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

The CBO report itself casts doubt on it's projection. See the prior post with CBO quote on this thread.

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 10, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

If the CBO isn't "neutral" enough, then, please, who is neutral enough? Sheesh. These people were not appointed by Pelosi; they are long-term employees whose job it is to provide accurate data to Congress. The fact that the new majority requires an exemption to their OWN requirements that new legislation pass CBO muster is quite telling, and THAT, my friends, is the unvarnished truth.

More truth: This silly thing may pass in the House, but it is unlikely to pass in the Senate. Even if it passed both houses, which we all know it won't, the president will veto it. And we already know that even Repubs in the House doesn't have enough of a majority to override a presidential veto.

So...

The "new" requirement that "all" legislation be subject to CBO accounting rules and be required to pay for itself either in outright savings or by adjustments somewhere else: THEATRE.

Accusations that the CBO is somehow hostile to the Republican Party: THEATRE.

The show of taking time to write legislation for the sake of, well, theatre: MORE THEATRE.

Do both parties do it? Of course. It's called political THEATRE. It seems to me to be good news that, there is actually discussion of requiring senators to at least "perform" their theatre rather than only "threaten to perform theatre" in order to sustain a filibuster. Not allowing them at all would be okay with me, too, but at least we're getting back to showing things for what they are.

Posted by: jonroesler | January 10, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The commenters on this site, continuously prove that you need not have facts, education, intelligence, wisdom, nor common sense to expound an opinion.

this goes for ALL of you.

hmmm, that includes me as well, I suppose...

Posted by: pete1013 | January 10, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Plus a little help from 3 nuke powered Russian Icebreakers and a special built icebreaker transport.

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 10, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

gemniii, following your link below, an article dated in August 2010, attributes the event to "Russian Authority" allowing non-Russian ship passage thru Russian waters, for the first time.
" Russian authorities, the Northern Sea Route Administration under the Ministry of Transportation and Rosatomflot, the operator of the Russian national icebreaking fleet, have given the project their first-ever approval for a foreign flagged vessel to ship a cargo in transit from a foreign port to a foreign port through Russian waters."

On the other hand: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jMZ8OO-39ztARA4hUSQi8wvPBNRA?docId=3c9cfd1ac4a047a48a7039c929534fb0 - "5 ships trapped by ice off eastern Russia". - I guess it just gets cold in the winter!! (smile!)
___________

"How is that "global warming" thing working out . ."

Very well thank you, the shipping lanes are opening up:
"For the first time ever, a bulk carrier with non-Russian flag is using the Northern Sea Route as a transit trade lane, when transporting iron ore from the Northern Norway to China via Arctic and Russian waters."

http://barentsobserver.com/mv-nordic-barents-makes-historic-voyage.4812338-131162.html
Posted by: gemniii
_______

Best,

Posted by: Xman2 | January 10, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

pararanger, the Brits set up their health care system right after WWII. It has worked wonderfully for the past 60 years, but needs fixing now, as economies have changed since the mid 1940s.

There are plenty of other examples in the world of health care systems that work well. Ours does not. We rank far down the line in terms of our national health, infant mortality rates, etc. compared to other western countries. Versions of the Bismarck model, used in Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and other countries, is a good model to start with...basically still having insurance companies, but keeping them all in non-profit status while maintaining severe price controls on the cost of medical care. Taiwan has a hybrid system they created by looking at all the pros and cons of other systems throughout the globe, and it works very well.

Just because other countries with nationalized medicine are experiencing problems, doesn't mean some type of non-profit or government-based health care is unworkable. Medicare is one form of a government health care system. It works, with flaws...flaws that can be fixed. The Veteran's health care system in this country is another type. It works well also, but with flaws. The current system we have for the rest of us does NOT work well. It leaves tens of millions without health insurance, provides better care for the rich, features constantly increasing rates that ordinary people have no control over (and yes, features "death panels", where some room full of suits decides what's covered and what's not, based on profit margins), and is not sustainable into the future.

This current bill is not perfect (what is, when compromises have to be reached with people who only have re-election in mind and not the public's well-being?), but it is a start. From here on, we should build on it, make it better, improve it. The "repeal it" movement is a knee-jerk "we hate everything Obama does" political ploy. Never mind that much of this health care law is based on Mitt Romney's plan for Massachusetts. Last I checked, he was a good Republican.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | January 10, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"How is that "global warming" thing working out . ."

Very well thank you, the shipping lanes are opening up:
"For the first time ever, a bulk carrier with non-Russian flag is using the Northern Sea Route as a transit trade lane, when transporting iron ore from the Northern Norway to China via Arctic and Russian waters."

http://barentsobserver.com/mv-nordic-barents-makes-historic-voyage.4812338-131162.html

Posted by: gemniii | January 10, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

PrairieDog60 wrote:

["Health care is a right, not a privilage."]

------------------

The Brits feel the way you do and the National Health System (NHS) has ground their economy into the abyss. As an American living abroad, I listen to the BBC and local radio stations endlessly discuss NHS issues to inlclude 'death panel' type of discussions. And don't think about ease of use - bring a sleeping bag and a tent the day of your appointment...

Let's be realistic: the health care law we have now is unmanageable and will create economic problems on a scale the US can't handle - certainly not at the moment. GOP input into the law was minimal and by and large only 'lip service' was paid to Conservative issues like tort reform (the tort reform initiated in this law is in equal measures laughable and frustrating).

Posted by: pararanger22 | January 10, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm wait and see jhnny I predict Full scale spin after murder and mayham of the weekend fades.

I think the bill gets little light because it is a poor bit of legislation.

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 10, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The Party of "don't read the bill, just ram it down their throats" wasted a year ramming a 2,300+ page ObamaCare bill through Congress. It doesn't take 2,300+ pages to define the several good things that it may contain. What about the rest of this Government take-over of American Healthcare? "We need to pass the bill to see what is in it" - Nancy Pelosi

How is that "global warming" thing working out . . . . Currently the Atlanta International Airport is just about shut down due to snow and ice!! This Country needs American Jobs, not false hoaxes by those spreading falsehoods for financial and political gain.
God Bless America . . . . we sure need it!

Posted by: Xman2 | January 10, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

My question is more, Why doesn't the Mainstream Media promote the positives and soundness of the bill instead of promoting the Red Herring "Republicans don't care about deficits" argument.

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 10, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

First, you would accuse them of bias in promoting the health care law, and two, the "Republicans don't care about deficits" argument here is opinion, on the opinion page written by an editorial cartoonist paid to give his opinion. It is not the "Mainstream Media" promoting some specific narrative.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | January 10, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

It's a well known fact that the more money government has and the less money people have the better off the economy is. For those without compassion no evidence will be sufficient to prove that fact. For those with compassion, no evidence is needed.

Posted by: politbureau | January 10, 2011


I am not sure if this is a joke or are you saying that our economy would be best off if we gave ALL our money to the government!!!

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 10, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

PrairieDog60

I appreciate your defense of the bill and agree there are some things positive in it.

My question is more, Why doesn't the Mainstream Media promote the positives and soundness of the bill instead of promoting the Red Herring "Republicans don't care about deficits" argument. Devoting two pages of pro and con to this bill seems like a piece all US newspapers should want to do. Instead of information we get partisan rhetoric. This needs to stop soon.

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 10, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles,

The year has come in and you have come out of your corner swinging. No misses so far. You are a man on fire!

Posted by: bushidollar | January 10, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | January 10, 2011 11:29 AM
"Still waiting for other numbers showing repealing the law doesn't cost us money."

All you are going to hear from them is crickets, that is until either Limbaugh one of Fox's drones creates and delivers onto them the numbers.

Mr. Walkr, both you and I know that the CBO's numbers, while they may be debatable, are going to be more accurate that Republi-math. May I suggest a more productive course of action? Go enjoy a nice pulled pork sandwich and couple of tumblers of Johnny Walker. Have one for me too.

Posted by: bushidollar | January 10, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Here is another example of accounting tricks used in the CBO projection, see my earlier post on this thread for the other.

However, current law now includes a number of policies that might be
difficult to sustain over a long period of time. For example, PPACA and the
Reconciliation Act reduced payments to many Medicare providers relative
to what the government would have paid under prior law. On the basis of
those cuts in payment rates and the existing “sustainable growth rate”
mechanism that governs Medicare’s payments to physicians, CBO projects
that Medicare spending (per beneficiary, adjusted for overall inflation) will
increase significantly more slowly during the next two decades than it has
increased during the past two decades. If those provisions would have
subsequently been modified or implemented incompletely, then the
budgetary effects of repealing PPACA and the relevant provisions of the
Reconciliation Act could be quite different—but CBO cannot forecast
future changes in law or assume such changes in its estimates.

This is from the CBO report to congress dated Jan 6 2011. The proposed cuts to Medicare doctors are not sustainable and the CBO knows it.

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 10, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Still waiting for other numbers showing repealing the law doesn't cost us money.

And no, the only argument for the law is not that it saves money, that just happens to be the subject of the conversation at hand.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | January 10, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Yes...such a truly awful law. Some of the things it does already; it makes it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions; it makes it illegal for insurance companies to put limits on your annual benefit (for people with VERY expensive medications, this is a life saver); it allows you to keep your kids on your insurance until they're 26. Yes, an awful law. We must repeal now! *insert sarcastic look here*

If you want to know the premise of the CBO's study, it comes down to this. If insurance companies are allowed to continue to make health care coverage more and more expensive (which they must do in order to keep making a profit and keep increasing their stock value), eventually only the rich will be able to afford it. This means that more and more people will have medical service covered by tax dollars with no oversight or price control on how much is charged. Can you see how that would swallow up more public money very quickly?

Health care is a right, not a privilage. We found this out about education a long time ago. Everyone; rich, poor, black, white...all deserve access to a good education. It's time we realize this about health care as well. To only allow the wealthy access to good health care is barbaric, unjust, morally corrupt, and not anything I would term remotely "Christian".

I had trouble supporting this bill because it didn't go far enough; because it still gives insurance companies far too much of a say in how our health care system operates. Eventually we will be providing universal health care for everyone in this country...it's only a matter of time. This law is not an elegant first step, but it is still a first step.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | January 10, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

It is all about the Koolade spewing right now. The talking point will be the nasty Repubs really do not care about deficits (I am not sure which ones really do care but that's beside the point) otherwise why would they want to repeal this 'money saving' bill. This will be repeated over and over by the media until it becomes 'true'. It starts here today.

If this insurance reform bill is so great why not repeat endlessly the benefits and improvements so it stands on it's merits.

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 10, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm, believing the CBO? How many iterations of bending, twisting and smoke and mirrors did it take the Obamaites to finally get the numbers it need to gain enough support to pass this farce of a bill? For one,they took out the "Doctor fix" which finally got them over the top. Never mind the man behind the curtain who is going to pay for it by more deficit spending. People who believe that Obamacare will reduce the debt are the same ones that buy into the Global Warming hoax. What a bunch of morons.

Posted by: Timanddori | January 10, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Tom~~~COMMON SENSE says if you don't have it don't spend it. That should be etched in stone right outside the Capitol Building.

Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | January 10, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

So the best argument you all have for this health insurance bill is that it may save a little money?

I stated before, cooking the books to further an agenda started long before this administration but this CBO projection has holes big enough to drive a freight train through.

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 10, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Congress should call China and ask for their advice. The hands to where this borrowed money actually ends up should be the first issue in mind.

Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | January 10, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Correct, PlumHunter. You have solved the riddle.
As for the CBO report, this country is spending an increasing percentage of it's gross income on health care. The health care bill, though imperfect since it does not not provide certain alternative resources, will help control he primary source of the increases - greed. The insurance industry simply "cherry-picks" the healthiest to insure and leaves the rest to be cared for by the government, or lets them die (can you spell Death Panels).
The CBO has for years been the financial guide for bipartisan congressional actions but a certain group of deniers, like the flat-worlders, simply do not want to hear anything that contradicts their view of the world.

Posted by: pjohn2 | January 10, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

The CBO assumption on the deficit is only due to the expectation that 10 years of additional taxes, added forced spending on the States and fictional Medicare cuts will offset all the additional spending required by the program. The bottom line of Obamacare is that more money will be taken from the depleted pockets of the American taxpayer - deficit cuts or not.

Posted by: bpadrino | January 10, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I'll even be nice and change that to "tax cuts pay for themselves."

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | January 10, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Give us some other numbers then.

And if it's insane to say "spend more to save more" what is it to say "cut taxes to raise revenue"?

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | January 10, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

the cbo populated by pelosi's lackeys lie...
and you believe them...
how funny is that...

Posted by: DwightCollins | January 10, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

THAT'S RIGHT JOE BIDEN! The only way to reduce spending is to INCREASE spending! The only way to reduce the deficit is to SPEND MORE!
Liberal thinking is the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result...

Posted by: totalkaosdave | January 10, 2011 7:13 AM | Report abuse

It's a well known fact that the more money government has and the less money people have the better off the economy is. For those without compassion no evidence will be sufficient to prove that fact. For those with compassion, no evidence is needed.

Posted by: politbureau | January 10, 2011 3:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm curious where dalyplanet gets figures he thinks can be trusted. Apparently the vast majority of scientists and now the CBO cannot be believed. Is the CBO somehow profiting from their damnable lies too? Do they get more money to study the deficit if it looks worse than it really is?

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | January 9, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

To DalyPlanet "Tell me how an increase in fed spending will actually spend less money".

The way this is done is by decreasing other spending and/or increasing taxes. Thus the CBO report. I understand that paying for spending or tax cuts is a foreign concept to conservatives, but that's how it's done.

Posted by: stevedwight | January 9, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Just because Jared turns out to be a liberal democrat you don't have to be so nasty.

Posted by: jornolibist | January 9, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Time again for the Dem\Lib speak to English dictionary, Tell me how an increase in fed spending will actually spend less money. Even the 'conservative'- LoL- Ruth Marcus believes the CBO's numbers\assumptions to be highly suspect. Methinks the Koolade hose is out and on full force with this 'scandal' report.

One CBO 'trick' (kind of like those climatologists) is to reconcile 10 years of health care incomes against 6 years of expense.

I can't complain too much though as someone else invented this type of VooDoo accounting.

Posted by: dalyplanet | January 9, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

"The Republicans are all about reducing the loathed, fearsome deficit!" No --- the Republicans are all about making sure Obama is a one term president, event if that means covering up this fact, or spinning it out of control, even if the country is sent further down the trail of ruin! Winning is what counts, not the country!

Posted by: PlumHunter | January 9, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

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