Here we go:
Fantastic.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is touting the Senate’s newest health-care bill as costing $849 billion over 10 years. But this uses the same accounting trick as past versions: 99 percent of the costs don’t kick in until the fifth year of that “10 year” period. And the true 10-year costs are well over twice what Reid's advertising: $1.8 billion.
The Democrats cite the bills’ projected costs from 2010-19. Yet, as the Congressional Budget Office reports, the bill would cost just $9 billion total from 2010 through 2013 — versus $147 billion in 2016 alone. In the first 40 percent of what the Democrats are calling the bill’s “first 10 years,” only 1 percent of its costs would yet have hit.
As the CBO analysis indicates, the bill’s real 10-year costs would start in 2014. And in its true first decade (2014 to 2023), CBO projects the bill’s costs to be $1.8 trillion — double the price Reid is advertising.
And that’s even though the CBO optimistically assumes the government-run “public option” wouldn’t cost a cent.
It also adds:
Reid's fuzzy mathAmong the $802 billion that Reid would divert from Medicare is $431 billion in cuts in doctors’ pay (far more than the misleading figure for 2010-19). The bill says it would cut payments to doctors for services to Medicare patients by 23 percent in 2011 — and never raise them back up, ever.
No one who’s been in Washington for more than five minutes actually expects this reduction to occur — and if it doesn’t, then the Senate health bill would increase our deficits by $286 billion in its true first decade, according to CBO projections.