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Republican Budget Fail Fail Fail

The incoming Republican majority in the House of Representatives has a new rule. They must offset the cost of any legislation that would increase federal spending. Sounds good, yes?

And yet, they are attempting to repeal Obama’s health care reform bill, a bill that the Congressional Budget Office says will reduce the federal deficit by $143 billion.

So what to do? Simple. The Republicans exempt repealing health care reform from their new rules. They have modified the new rule so that it doesn’t apply to repealing health care reform.

But wait, there’s more. They have also exempted extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Oh, and the lowered estate tax. And changes to the Alternative Minimum Tax. Actually, they exempted all tax reductions. And on top of that, they also exempted the cost of implementing any trade agreements. Why not?

I’m so glad they are serious about balancing the budget.

UPDATE: The Congressional Budget Office estimates that repealing Obamacare will cost $230 billion and will result in fewer people having health insurance and will raise the price of health insurance for those people purchasing on the individual market. Needless to say, Republicans disputed the nonpartisan CBO results by making up their own numbers.



  1. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    I talked about this with my wife. The really funny and/or sad thing to me is that they are claiming (as they have been for a while) that the new health care law will raise the deficit. But instead of proving their “facts”, they are continuing to claim that they are true and putting in an exemption. All they’d have to do is show that it would raise the deficit and they could repeal it without issue (at least on that angle).

    The closest analogy I could think of would be if Republicans demanded that you must be 6’0″ to ride on their new GOPollercoaster in the Reagan Amusement Park. Democrats notice that a favorite republican looks short, so they pull out a measuring tape and find that he is 5’8″.

    The GOP response would be, “no, he’s 6’1″. And instead of grabbing the measuring tape ourselves, we are going to put an exemption in the rule for this guy. Even though, as we said before, he is 6’1″ and no exemption is required.”

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 6:13 am | Permalink
  2. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Part of the funding for HCR was the medicare Dr. fix to reduce payments to Dr’s and this would have provided (if I remember correctly) 184 Bill in savings (it may have been a higher est by the CBO). 2 months after signing the law Obama said that cutting Dr pay wasn’t a good thing, Duh, as it would drive medicare providers away. So they drafter a fix to restore the cuts eliminating the savings. They also took 1/2 trillion form medicare to pay for obamacare. Medicare already has huge unfunded liablities and we’re really going to pay for HCR by cutting medicare?
    Other cuts to pay for HCR included reducing food and housing assistance for the poor. Really. For those that believe that nonsense, I have soem beachfront property in Kansas I’m interested in selling.
    Here’s the easy to understand link that has been posted at least 10 times.

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 6:45 am | Permalink
  3. Bard wrote:



    Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 7:41 am | Permalink
  4. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    Patriot, if I understand you correctly, then it seems it would have been a simple matter for the Republicans to show that the bill was not a deficit reducer. Then they could have repealed it within the confines of the paygo rules.

    Why didn’t they do that? Why did they instead write an exception that allows them to repeal it while it is officially recognized as a deficit reducer?

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 9:25 am | Permalink
  5. PatriotSGT wrote:

    “Confines of the Paygo rules”, thats Nancy’s fantasy world. They havn’t done that.

    My point really is that we need HCR AND it will cost us, but lets be real and fund it correctly not rob peter to pay paul. Lets figure out how much of a either payroll tax or national health care sales tax we’ll need to fund it. Thats all. As written it will eventually add to the deficit when the chopped items get backdoored back in. As for the Repubs I have no idea, I’m a dem, a fiscally conservative old school one, but a dem.

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 10:44 am | Permalink
  6. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    Again, if it is not funded and will cost money, the Republicans would not have needed to put an exception in the paygo rules for it. They would just need to show that it is not funded and will cost money.

    The 10 times you’ve posted the link, you made it sound like it was kindergarten arithmetic, so I can’t think of a sensible reason why they wouldn’t if it were true. Not only would they be able to repeal it without the exemption, they would be able to score political points against the democrats who claimed it would reduce the deficit.

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink
  7. Jason Ray wrote:

    Patriotsgt – your link on the breakdown for the Health Care bill is quite informative, thanks.

    Your post, however, is unlike you as it is full of misleading and factually inaccurate assertions. You are double counting as they did not “also” cut $500 billion from Medicare on top of “eliminating the savings” on doctor reeimbursement.

    Yes, a susbsequent bill was passed to DELAY an pre-existing 25% CUT in reimbursements – until the end of 2011. This cut was not part of the Health Care funding to begin with, and it is not permanent (yet, at any rate).

    As the linked chart clearly shows, the majority of the $416.5B in “Medicare cuts” ($332 of the $416.5) is reduction in the GROWTH of “fee for service” payments – i.e., in reducing the growth of doctor pay. Reducing future growth is not the same thing as cutting current rates.

    Furthermore, your assertion that part of the bill was paid for with “reducing food and housing assistance for the poor” is at best misleading and at worst inaccurate – there is no mention of this in the link chart you provided, so even if it was accurate the amount of the cut is a rounding error on the other savings, and therefore inconsequential.

    The bottom line is that the Health Care bill, as passed, reduces long term health costs if all its provisions remain in place. Republican claims that is “costs a trillion dollars” and “explodes the deficit” are pure and unadulterated fiction.

    Like you, I am not confident that all the reductions and funding provisions WILL remain in place, especially the reductions in future growth of doctor reimbursement, but let’s make sure we’re looking at the same facts please.

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink
  8. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Good points Jason, I go a wee bit over the top when I hear that HCR reform is a panacea that will reduce the deficit, reduce health care costs, and bring peace and stability to all the land. It has some big problems, perhaps because it wasn’t created as well as it should have. It has some very good provisions that will protect people from insurance company injustices that were long overdue. The cuts to the poor I took from this “Community Living Assistance Services and Supports = $70 billion in cuts” and you see the education cuts as well.

    1032 – Repubs may do just that since they won’t be able to repeal HCR, they can elect to not fund parts of it that would basically kill it. Hopefully they’ll leave the good parts alone. Pelosi, when she became speaker promised a great change introducing “pay as you go” and NO NEW deficit spending. Then under her 4 year speakership ran up the largest debt and deficit spending ever (5.2 trill). I just think she’s either delusional or the biggest hypocrite ever. Yes congress holds the government checkbook, not the president. I can’t blame Obama for the debt, but I can blame congress, both under Obama and Bush and the repub led congress as well.

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink
  9. ebdoug wrote:

    Funny isn’t it how the republicans don’t mind spending 2 billion a WEEK on a false war in Iraq, but they mind spending to help the American people? And against the wishes of the rich, they don’t want the rich to pay the extra taxes which would help fund the health care reform. No hypocrisy there.

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Permalink
  10. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Yes Ebdoug and who has been in charge of the money for the last 4 years. Correct, a Democrat. Pelosi didn’t pull the plug on war spending, she approved it as long as all the earmarks she desired were included in the war bills. And yes for the 3 years before she got the checkbook it was held by a Republican who spent on the war as well.

    Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 6:48 am | Permalink
  11. Slapstick wrote:

    “And yet, they are attempting to repeal Obama’s health care reform bill, a bill that the Congressional Budget Office says will reduce the federal deficit by $143 billion.”

    “President Obama asserted last December that the proposed health-care plan was “deficit-neutral; it bends the cost curve; it covers 30 million Americans who don’t have health insurance.”

    Someone is definitely lying. Anyone with a clue knows that BOTH are lying.

    The annual rate of growth is now 6.3 percent, up 0.2 percentage point. When asked about this finding at his Friday press conference, Obama said, “Bending the cost curve on health care is hard to do. . . . We didn’t think that we were going to cover 30 million people for free.”

    If you need to have it explained to you how the CBO operates (or is bound to operate) when estimating costs, then you should probably refrain from posting about the subject. CBO estimates assumed that doctor pay for Medicare would be cut by over 20%. CBO also assumed that the excise tax will be implemented on schedule in 2018, which assumes, in turn, that future congressmen will stand up to the unions that oppose it. It also assumes that the new Medicare board will cap spending.

    Yeah, Obamacare is deficit neutral. It also reduces the deficit. Cool story, bro.

    And someone above has the nerve to mention a war started on false pretense? Awesome!

    Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink
  12. Iron Knee wrote:

    Slapstick, so how would you bend the cost curve for health care in this country? Because the current situation is not sustainable.

    Personally, I don’t care if health care reform is free. I would gladly pay higher taxes to have a single payer health insurance system.

    Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Permalink
  13. Slapstick wrote:

    I’d relax regulations instead of adding more. Relax restrictions and allow companies to sell insurance across state lines. Theres no reason whatsoever why I shouldnt be able to purchase a policy from, say, Colorado, if the company was offering a satisfactory policy at a price I was willing to pay. Competition is a main factor. As the poster above said, why is it that things like plastic surgery and lasik eye surgery are getting cheaper each year? You think maybe because insurance typically doesnt cover these things might be a reason?

    My brother broke his arm last year. Cost him $3500.00. Can anyone here explain exactly what about a broken arm costs $3500? Is it the x-ray tech’s 5 min of time to take the xrays? Is it the additional 5 min to read the xrays? Is it the 5 min it takes an actual doctor to concur with the xray tech’s findings? Is it the hour it takes someone to wrap a cast around the arm? Oh, maybe its to finally pay off that 1960’s technology xray machine?

    The predetermined prices that insurance companies and hospitals colluded to set is the reason, and nothing else, IMO. Lets face it, the govt, the hospitals, the doctors themselves, and the insurance companies are all having one giant orgy on OUR DIME. We have very little say so in our own health care and personally I blame the govt the most. All the others are private entities and I dont blame them for trying to make a dime. But I definitely blame our govt for not only allowing it, but for accepting the lobby money and passing regulations making it legal for them to do what they do.

    I’m no fool and I refuse to believe that govt will do anything to improve the situation…unless they back off. Govt has been “helping” us for over 80 years with poverty and the line of those in need gets bigger every single year. Take a look in those parts of the city where “govt help” is most prevalent. They are the most downtrodden, crime ridden, drug infested parts of any city. This will be no different. To believe otherwise is totally ridiculous.

    Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

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