Potomac Fever is the blog of the Hamilton College Semester in Washington Program.
That deficit statement is misleading. The Dem bill's deficit numbers take into account the higher taxes/fees imposed by the legislation. The GOP bill reduces the deficit without raising taxes.
It covers 3 million more people and maybe lowers premiums (or maybe it doesn't--CBO estimates a zero to 3% premium drop.) What if it's zero?
First of all, the 0-3% figure is for the large group market. It's 7-10% for the small group market, and 5-8% for individuals.But my point was only that the bill decreases the deficit without raising taxes. It's a modest step in the right direction, and a positive building block towards a better health care system. Reasoned, deliberative, incremental change is what we're going for. Say what you will about that approach, but the bill is more budget-friendly than the Dems' plan.
You can't just ignore the fact that the CBO scored the Dem bill better because it contains tax increases that you don't like. Taxes don't make it "less" deficit-neutral.
Ok than look at it this way. If the GOP bill included the same taxes, it would reduce the deficit more than the Democratic bill. The health care system it imposes is more budget-friendly, as it doesn't need to raise additional revenue (ie taxes) to pay for it.
The GOP has no reason for those taxes in their bill. They pay for actually getting the vast majority of currently-uninsured people insurance. The GOP plan shows no desire to do that--it wants slow and incremental change. Those taxes aren't just because Democrats LOVE taxing people, they exist as a means of providing many of the currently uninsured with insurance.
That may be, but it doesn't take away from the fact that the bill is a budget-buster, and the only way to improve its dramatic increase of the national debt is to raise taxes. Not saying we shouldn't do that (although I don't think we should), just that the Dems' bill is not more budget-friendly than the GOP one.
Our brilliant op-ed writer is guilty of really bad math that's common in this debate: "To give an idea of how much $1.7 (or $1.8) trillion is, let's compare it to private insurance companies' profits. The 10 largest insurance companies in America (according to the Fortune 500) last year had combined profits of $8 billion. You could double that, and it still would be less than 1 per cent of $1.7 trillion."That 1.7 trillion, by the author's own admission, is over the course of ten years. (Even if the "ten year window" he creates is a silly one; the CBO scores bills ten years from their inception as standard practice, always.) The $8 billion is over one year.Assuming the Department of Defense budget remains unchanged at about $680 billion dollars per year (and it'll go up, but I'll assume that it won't,) while we spend $1.7 trillion on healthcare, with all of the money at least theoretically accounted for, we will spend 6.8 trillion on national defense with no reasonable plan on how to make up that money.I fail to see how these bills are exceedingly fiscally irresponsible compared to other policies undertaken over the last ten years.
Isn't your argument with President Obama?
It's with an establishment that all of the sudden started freaking out about spending money, when they had no qualms about other, less constructive, more expensive endeavors.
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