Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Health Care Repeal Won't Add to the Deficit

There's an excellent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this morning By Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Joseph Antos and James C. Capretta1, on the argument still being made that Obamacare reduces the Federal Government's long term fiscal problems. Apparently, this material cannot be presented often enough...
A close examination of CBO's work and other evidence undercuts [the] budget-busting argument about repeal and leads to the exact opposite conclusion, which is that repeal is the logical first step toward restoring fiscal sanity.
Next up is the CLASS Act (for the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act) providing a new long-term care insurance entitlement. CLASS hitched a ride on the ACA for one reason only: premiums are collected in the first ten years, but no benefits are provided. Voila, it creates the perception of $70 billion in deficit reduction. In fact, CLASS is a bailout waiting to happen, as it will attract mainly sick enrollees. Only in Washington could the creation of a reckless entitlement program be used as "offset" to grease the way for another entitlement.
Go ahead. Read it all. And don't ever buy the argument that an unlimited, open-ended Federal entitlement program is somehow the rock on which a solid fiscal house can be built...

1 - Mr. Holtz-Eakin is president of the American Action Forum and a former director of CBO. Mr. Antos is Wilson Taylor Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former assistant director at CBO. Mr. Capretta is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a former associate director at the Office of Management and Budget.

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