Quick Fact: Ignoring nonpartisan CBO, WSJ claims only "devoted partisans" believe health bill saves money

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

A Wall Street Journal editorial asserted that Obama "re-pitched the health bill now in Congress with the same contradiction-covers more people but saves money too-that all but the most devoted partisans long ago dismissed as unbelievable." However the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the health care reform bills passed by both the House and the Senate would reduce federal deficits through 2019 and beyond.

From a January 28 Wall Street Journal editorial:

On health care, Mr. Obama offered a Willy Loman-esque soliloquy on his year-long effort, as if his bill's underlying virtues and his own hard work haven't been truly appreciated by the American public. He showed no particular willingness to compromise, save for a claim that he was open to other ideas.

And he re-pitched the health bill now in Congress with the same contradiction-covers more people but saves money too-that all but the most devoted partisans long ago dismissed as unbelievable. The President sounded to us like a man who is still hoping Democrats will find a way to sneak this monstrosity into law despite its unpopularity.

FACT: CBO estimated that health care reform bills would reduce deficits over next 10 years and beyond

CBO: Senate bill yields "a net reduction in federal deficits of $132 billion" over 10 years. On December 19, 2009, CBO reported of the Senate bill incorporating the manager's amendment:

CBO and JCT estimate that the direct spending and revenue effects of enacting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act incorporating the manager's amendment would yield a net reduction in federal deficits of $132 billion over the 2010-2019 period.

CBO also estimated on December 20, 2009, that the bill will continue to reduce the deficit beyond the 10-year budget window that ends in 2019 "with a total effect during that decade that is in a broad range between one-quarter percent and one-half percent of GDP."

CBO estimated the House bill will result in $138 billion in deficit reduction through 2019. On November 20, 2009, CBO reported of the House health care reform legislation, "CBO and JCT now estimate that the legislation would yield a net reduction in deficits of $138 billion over the 10-year period." CBO also stated in its November 6 estimate that "[i]n the subsequent decade, the collective effect of its provisions would probably be slight reductions in federal budget deficits. Those estimates are all subject to substantial uncertainty."

WSJ previously misled on budgetary impact of health care reform. CBO estimates showing health care reform will reduce deficits, a January 27 Wall Street Journal editorial asserted that President Obama should "[d]rop the health-care bill" if Democrats "really are serious" about fiscal responsibility.

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
Network/Outlet
Wall Street Journal
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