Why the CBO’s latest numbers on the House version of ObamaCare are a joke

Posted by: ST on March 18, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Kevin Glass explains:

[…] Analysis from the Congressional Budget Office has pegged the “new” plan at $940 billion and includes eye-popping deficit reduction numbers.

There’s chatter from Capitol Hill is that some Democrats are going to use the second-decade deficit reduction numbers as a justification to vote for the bill. These numbers claim deficit reduction “up to $1.2 trillion.”

What’s not noted is the heaps and heaps of qualifications that the CBO has repeatedly put on their second-decade numbers. This includes phrases such as “a detailed year-by-year projection… would not be meaningful because the uncertainties involved are simply too great” and “the legislation would maintain and put into effect a number of procedures that might be difficult to sustain over a long period of time.”

Basically the CBO is saying that there’s no way Congress can actually enact many of the Obamacare provisions that Democrats claim they’re going to. But the CBO is forced to grade the bill as it’s written. […]

Plus, from page 1 of the CBO report:

“Although CBO completed a preliminary review of legislative language prior to its release, the agency has not thoroughly examined the reconciliation proposal to verify its consistency with the previous draft. This estimate is therefore preliminary, pending a review of the language of the reconciliation proposal, as well as further review and refinement of the budgetary projections.

Ed Morrissey and Allahpundit have more on the CBO’s numbers as well as the smoke and mirrors scheme behind the Democrats’ attempts at putting a price tag on it all.

Senator Kyl:

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl released a statement going after the rising price tag of the bill, which was less than $900 billion when it went through the House and the Senate the first time.

“Every time a new iteration of the Democrats’ health-care bill is unveiled, the price tag goes up,” Kyl said. “The only thing that remains the same is that the American taxpayer will be on the hook to pay for it.”


Keep melting the phones. Keep emailing. (House linkSenate link)

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10 Responses to “Why the CBO’s latest numbers on the House version of ObamaCare are a joke”


  1. Candy says:

    Do you see them bypassing the 72 hour period?

  2. Kate says:

    So if I understand the function of the CBO correctly they analyze financial information based on “the bill” and it’s “assumed” outcomes, even if they know that the congress is making outrageous claims that they will not be able to maintain… i.e. the cuts to Medicare, etc????

    All the more reason why people have such an unfavorable rating of congress….

  3. Paul says:

    Figures can (and have in the past) be manipulated to serve political masters. Both sides have done it.

  4. Kate says:

    I know that Paul….just another fun fact about Washington politics that would never work in real life…

  5. Westcoastjazz says:

    CBO has been declared ‘the Gold Standard’ by Limbaugh, O’Reilly, and Hannity. A non-partisan referee. Can we really discredit them now when we don’t like their analysis?

  6. Great White Rat says:

    Didn’t read Kevin Glass’ remarks too closely, did you, Jazz? Let me put it in simpler terms for you:

    First, the CBO can only score what the Congressional leadership gives them. There’s no guarantee that what Pelosi sent to them will be what they actually pass. Assuming they have the intestinal fortitude to even take a real vote on it, of course.

    Second, the CBO noted that their year-by-year projections were meaningless, even if Pelosi did stick to the version she sent to them. Paying for 6 years of a program with 10 years of taxes may fool your average Obamabot, but thinking people understand that you can’t pull the same stunt in the second ten years. So does the CBO.

    Third, what part of this don’t you get:

    “the legislation would maintain and put into effect a number of procedures that might be difficult to sustain over a long period of time.”

    Bottom line is that the document sent for CBO to score was tailored to give a fraudulently optimistic scoring. The administration figures that would be good enough to fool the economic illiterates among us. You know, like those who think you can reduce insurance premiums by 3000%…

  7. Carlos says:

    Not to say that Limbaugh et al are wrong or anything, but there hasn’t been a government projection of any entitlement program in the past 75 years that has come within 100% of the true costs.

    That includes Social “Security”, Medicare, Medicade and unemployment. The function of the CBO (which happens to be a nom du jour) is to work with ponied-up figures given to them by people more interested in stealing your hard-earned money than providing laws that fall within the purview of the Constitution.

    And I don’t care how good Coburn seems to be – his wallowing with pigs, and he’s going to stink like one sometime.

    Mr. Coburn, if I’m wrong I sincerely apologize, but you are in the pigpen and it’s a miracle if some of the pig poop doesn’t reach you.

  8. tony sacchetti says:

    I think the most important evaluation of any government report is that they have never in any instance I can remember met financial predictions in any entitlement program! The American people are not stupid. This is a joke and I have no doubt will help to bankrupt this country. I have been around for over 70 years and I haven’t seen government run anything efficiently!