You can't take money from one place and move it saying it will reduce the deficit. As long as you still spend it, it will increase the deficit.
FOXNews.com - Senator Cites New Budget Letter to Argue Health Care Bill Will Hike Deficit
Savings from Medicare touted by Democrats as a means to pay for the Senate health care bill were double-counted and the legislation will increase the deficit, not decrease it, a senior Republican senator said Wednesday, citing a new letter from the Congressional Budget Office.
As the Senate prepares for a crucial vote before final passage of a massive overhaul bill that Democrats argue will reduce the deficit by $132 billion over 10 years, Sen. Jeff Sesssions, R-Ala, said the nearly $500 billion in cuts to Medicare actually will add $300 billion to the deficit
"The real score on this legislation is that it would cause the deficit to increase, and not be a surplus as the president has promised," Sessions told Fox News. "And a lot members of our Congress have said I won't vote for this bill unless it's deficit neutral. It's not deficit neutral. It will add to the debt. That's clear today."
Sessions reached his calculations after speaking to CBO Director Doug Elmendorf.
In his letter to Sessions, Elmendorf wrote that government counts money two ways, either through trust fund accounting, in which money is borrowed from future Medicare payments to pay for existing Medicare programs but is like a revolving line of credit, or unified budget accounting, in which the trust fund money is borrowed from Medicare but then spent on other health care programs that don't generate money to be be paid back into Medicare later.
"The key point is that the savings to the (Hospital Insurance) trust fund under the (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) would be received by the government only once, so they cannot be set aside to pay for future Medicare spending and, at the same time, pay for current spending on other parts of the legislation or on other programs," Elmendorf wrote.
"To describe the full amount of HI trust fund savings as both improving the government's ability to pay future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare would essentially double-count a large share of those savings and thus overstate the improvement in the government's fiscal position," he wrote.
Sessions said the cuts to Medicare can extend the government program or create money for a new entitlement program -- but not both.
"Either you've weakened the Medicare substantially or you're going to have no money to spend on the new program that's being created," he said. "You cannot spend this money twice."