LETTER: GOP conveniently misrepresents Obamacare costsTo the Telegram: Here are some facts taken from Wikipedia, Politifact, FactCheck.org, CNN, Fortune and Money, and estimates for the insurance costs under the Affordable Care Act from the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation.
To the Telegram:
Here are some facts taken from Wikipedia, Politifact, FactCheck.org, CNN, Fortune and Money, and estimates for the insurance costs under the Affordable Care Act from the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation.
One of the worst lies circulated by Republicans is the March 13 estimate for the cost of health care reform, which doubled over the original 2010 estimate.
Much of the confusion is because the original estimate (2010-2019) for the gross cost of the health insurance provisions covers different years of varying expense compared to the gross insurance provision costs in the recent (2012-2021) estimate.
These also have been compared with another even more recent gross costs estimate of 11 years, spanning 2012-2022, and of course, each period has yielded different results.
Not only does the number of years make a difference, but also what actual expenses were in the beginning years of enactment and in later years of effective implementation.
The most costly measures will not be implemented fully until 2014, so the years before that date have lower costs, and the years after it, included in the 11-year estimate, will contain three additional years of high costs and with only two at lower cost.
These estimates share only an 8-year period of costs from the same years, and therefore, the estimated total gross costs of differ greatly.
Since the original gross cost estimate from the (2010-2019) period was set by the CBO at $938 billion over ten years, and the latest gross cost estimates for the 11-year period rose to $1.76 trillion. Republicans soon jumped on the numbers, making an erroneous apple-to-grapefruit comparison from the original $938 billion figure and $1.76 trillion figure over 11 years. They were completely remiss by not including revenue-generating and cost-cutting measures in the bill.
There is no doubt overall expenses in the bill have increased, but consider some of the revenue sources and cuts that lower the total amount.
High-cost health plans come with an excise tax. Employers that do not provide health insurance and individuals who do not buy insurance will pay penalties.
The $500 billion cut in Medicare is really $500 billion saved when costs are trimmed as programs are streamlined and patient-centered care reduces medical costs. Medicaid programs receive federal subsidies and expanded coverage.
Let’s also remember that individuals earning $200,000 and families making more than $250,000 will have their taxes raised. There will also be new taxes on the investment-incomes of higher earners.
When all of the cuts and increased revenues are factored in, the CBO estimates Obamacare can reduce the deficit by $210 billion between 2010 and 2021.
One can also read the estimates for coverage by the ACA in the online copy of the March 2012 statement by the Congressional Budget Office.
In the third paragraph of the first page, they say provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of just under $1.1 trillion over the 2012-2021 period — about $50 billion less than the agencies’ March 2011 estimate for that ten-year period.
In a nutshell, the GOP left out inconvenient deductions concerning cost-cutting and revenue-raising measures, along with ignoring the number of years examined and the chronological significance of those years in relation to the enactment costs of provisions vs. how these compared to the effective implementation costs of provisions.
Before anyone discredits the reputation of nonpartisan organizations like Politico or FactCheck.org, be aware that FactCheck people have been actively disputing the validity of the president’s claims about Mitt Romney and his time as an executive with Bain Capital.
Do biased sources investigate both sides of the aisle before they are ready to pass judgment? What we really need is some nonpartisan truth from our many lying political propagandists.
Of course, all of these estimates and figures can instantly change in response to any number of economic problems and traumatic political events, but this would hold true for whichever party or president initiated health care reform.
It really is all a work in progress needing many tweaks and adjustments, but it can potentially prevent 40,000 deaths a year due to lack of adequate insurance. Health care is dignity. Can’t we just have a heart?
Peter W. Johnson,