I’ve left it to the very able hands of many in blogosphere to deservedly pummel the terrible WaPo story on how the CBO got it all wrong and the Affordable Care Act will actually increase the deficit. (I’m on the Acela with a plucky but spotty internet connection so I can’t give you all the links—see stuff by Paul Van de Water on the CBPP site.)
The CBO was right, however, and followed standard budgeting assumptions, as opposed to those in the study underlying the WaPo piece, which assumed—again, contrary to any standard analysis—that we renege on the promise to provide Medicare as we know it to future generations. (BTW, it’s worth noting that if you assume that we fail to honor the entitlements, there are no out-year deficits to worry about…poof…assumed away!)
Anyway, this can be abstruse stuff and I very much appreciate the way Media Matters breaks it down here (and all the links therein). Here are their bullet points, which nicely summarize the dust up, but go to the link for deets.
Connect: Let’s cut through the smoke and mirrors.
Define: The non-partisan authorities agree that Obamacare reduces the debt and keeps our promise to seniors by strengthening Medicare.
Contrast: The new GOP study claiming Obamacare adds to the debt is true only if Congress breaks America’s promise and slashes Medicare, so all the costs of keeping our promise can be added to Obamacare.
Expose: Republican donors paid for this study so they could say in their attack ads that Obamacare increases the debt. Sure, if you use rules different from everyone else’s, you can get whatever result you want.
Discredit: Republicans have talked about gutting Medicare. The assumptions they make in their latest attack show they not only want to gut it but expect to end it — even if they haven’t admitted it yet.
Affirm: In America, we keep our promises to provide retirees the Medicare they’ve paid for. Obamacare does just that – and strengthens Medicare and lowers our deficit to boot.