Megan McArdle, who backed Obama in 2008, took a gander at the CBO numbers and called the House bill a “fiscal disaster waiting to happen.” Among her six points is this, the most telling:
Ultimately, this rests on the question: are we really going to cut Medicare? If we’re not, this gargantuan new entitlement is going to end up costing us about $200 billion a year next decade, which even in government terms is an awful lot of money. There are offsetting taxes, but they’re either trivial or likely to be unpopular–look forward to a 4% rent increase when your landlord has to stump over the same amount for the new tax on rents.
Just read the whole thing.
She’s not the only one to be concerned about the fiscal impact of this hastily assembled reconciliation package. Others have been poring over the numbers and have voice similar concerns. Keith Hennessey found it:
Spends money on doctors in 2013 and 2014, but leaves out the permanent fix, as expected. This means there’s another $300-ish B of Medicare spending that is not counted in this bill. So much for true deficit neutrality.
H/t: Instapundit. (Read that whole thing too.)
Delineating five reasons the CBO figures are phony, Ed Carson observed:
The Congressional Budget Office’s preliminary “score” says the health care overhaul will cost $940 billion over the first 10 years, saving $138 billion over that time. But the CBO must assess legislation as written, rather than whether it will actually be carried out. Or, as the Economist put it, “The CBO is required to pretend to believe many impossible things before breakfast.”
(Another whole thing worth reading.) And we still don’t know what the Senate is going to do with the amendments the House has passed. As this bickering carries on and on, people will discover more and more unpleasant taxes and other limitations on our freedom in this behemoth.
So, the best thing to do is not to pass it so we can find out what’s in it, but defeat it to prevent this fiscal disaster from coming to pass.