I've written at length about how Democrats are hiding the real health care price tag through some dubious accounting. And now two former high ranking Department of Health and Human Services officials — Ben Sasse and Jeffrey Anderson — are speaking out:
First, we need to get past the misleading accounting games. Each bill is routinely “scored” for its 10-year costs from 2010-19. Yet this includes several years when the spending wouldn’t yet have kicked in. According to the Congressional Budget Office, fully 99.9 percent of the Pelosi bill’s costs would hit from 2013 onward. Similarly, 98.3 percent of Reid’s spending would come after 2014.
If you start the tally when the bills’ spending would actually start (in 2013 for the House bill and 2014 for the Senate bill), then the bills’ real 10-year costs become clear — and are remarkably similar.
The CBO reports that, in their true first 10 years, the House bill would cost $1.8 trillion, and the Senate bill would cost $1.7 trillion. Pelosi would raise Americans’ taxes by $1.1 trillion over that period, while Reid would hike them by $1 trillion.
So the financial bottom lines are almost the same.
And if we discount the bills' claims to divert hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare (which is already on the edge of insolvency), the CBO says the House bill would raise our national debt by about $650 billion in its real first decade, while the Senate bill would up it by $740 billion.