Democrats' health care bill raises taxes right away, but the vast majority of its benefits do not kick in until 2014.
When Sen. John Thune, R-S.D, pointed this out today, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., flatly contended that this is not the case, going so far as to assert, “We're not entitled to our own facts.”
But Thune is correct, and Franken is wrong. The Spectator's Phil Klein has repeatedly pointed out the back-loaded spending built into each incarnation of the health care bill in order to disguise their true cost. For the previous Senate version (which is not too different from the current one in this respect) he produced this graphic representation:
Of the current Senate bill, Klein notes:
The Congressional Budget Office found that just $9 billion of the $848 billion total spending aimed at expanding coverage from 2010 to 2019 would occur in the first four years, while the remaining $839 billion wouldn’t come until the last six. In percentage terms, a whopping 1 percent of spending would occur from 2010 to 2014.
And indeed, Franken, despite rambling for several minutes yesterday, only identified a single $5 billion spending program under the health care bill (the high-risk pool) that actually kicks in before 2014. The only set of facts that is correct is the one that says nearly all of the benefits from the health care bill come after January 2014.