Stupid health care accounting tricks

One of the more dishonest aspects of the health care debate is the way the Democrats are trying to hide the true cost of health reform legislation. When the Congressional Budget Office “scores” a piece of legislation to determine the cost, they do so over an immediate ten year horizon. In order to make health care legislation sound cheaper than it is, the Senate health care bill begins collecting major tax increases and fees immediately and delays the bill's major spending provision for four years. So cost projections bandied about in media reports are taken from from 2009 to 2019 and appear substanially cheaper than when the legislation's spending is in full effect from 2014 to 2024. The American Spectator's Phil Klein put together a handy chart illustrating this regarding the senate's health care legislation:

The health care legislation coming out of the house also engages in the same fiscal chicanery. Media reports say the house bill's projected cost over the next ten years has already ballooned from a mere $894 billion to $1.2 trillion — now the GOP staff on the Senate Budget committee have crunched the numbers on the full implementation of the house bill from 2014 to 2024: 

 

If the Republican estimates are correct, the house health care legislation will cost a whopping $2.35 trillion between 2014 and 2024 once the bill's spending is in full effect. That's simply outrageous, even for our prolifigate congress.

 

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