Last week, I posted on the Center for American Progress policy brief arguing that repealing health care would cost billions of dollars. It wasn't just CAP. The Congressional Budget Office also offered a preliminary report.
From the CBO Director's blog:
Because CBO and JCT estimated that the March 2010 health care legislation would reduce budget deficits over the 2010–2019 period and in subsequent years, we expect that repealing that legislation would increase budget deficits. The resulting increase in deficits projected for fiscal years 2012 through 2019 is likely to be similar in size to—but not exactly the same as—the reduction in deficits that was originally estimated to result from the enacted legislation.
One week later (and the week before repeal is expected to go up for a vote in the House), Hudson Institute senior fellow and Washington Examiner Columnist Diana Furchtgott-Roth dismisses the CBO analysis.
If the act were repealed, Elmendorf wrote in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, "such reductions in spending and increases in revenues would not occur," and federal deficits would increase.
But the spending cuts and tax revenues are unlikely to occur. It strains belief that Congress will cut $500 billion from Medicare outlays over the next decade.
Recall that last year Congress was supposed to cut physician reimbursement rates for Medicare by 21 percent in June. The cuts were postponed until November. Then, in December, Congress rescinded the cuts again, and voted to delay a 25 percent cut until the end of 2011.
Now the 25 percent cut is due to take effect in 2012, to be followed by further cuts in 2014. Congress will undoubtedly postpone future cuts because they would lead to a shortage of doctors for Medicare patients.
The health care law will also have greater expenses than projected, as employers drop health coverage and their employees are forced to buy government-subsidized policies. Each additional person with government-subsidized premiums raises taxpayers' costs.