January 31 2011

Bring On the ObamaCare Deficit Debate

Hadley Heath

CQ Healthbeat is reporting that, "The Next Big Debate on Health Care [is] Likely to Be Driven by [the] Deficit Issue."  I say, "Bring it on."

The deficit should be a favorite topic of conservatives in the health care debate.  Supporters of a free health care market know that government intervention only costs more taxpayer money.  When the government interferes less, it spends less. 

Of course, the Left's favorite headline from earlier this month was "Repeal of Health Law Would Add to the Deficit."  This is because the CBO score of the final health legislation indicated that revenues (taxes) would increase even more than spending as a result of this law. 

The government is saying basically, "Here, allow us to take more of your money, in order to spend more of your money.  And then trust me, the deficit will decrease."  I'd rather trust myself with spending my own money.  The American people are smart enough to know that the expansion of health care entitlements and the infusion of more bureaucracy will not save us money.

CQ reports:

Meanwhile, the back and forth on the fiscal impact of the law continues. The day after the president's State of the Union address, [Rep. Paul] Ryan ushered experts into his hearing room in an effort to topple public confidence in a Congressional Budget Office estimate that the law would cut the deficit by $230 billion in 10 years and by well over $1 trillion in 20 years.

If they are right, and CBO's estimate is wrong, scrapping the law may really keep deficit spending from growing worse. But Republicans go further, saying that repealing the law would actually reduce deficit spending, not just keep it from getting worse. Instead of financing expanded health coverage, they say the $500 billion in Medicare cuts in the law can be applied to deficit reduction.

I don't think Ryan needs to prove the CBO estimate wrong.  He and other conservatives just need to make it clear that the CBO score tells only part of the story when it comes to the costs of health reform. 

This is a matter of common sense.  The expansion of government will not reduce the deficit.  Higher taxes will, and that's really what ObamaCare supporters mean when they say their law lowers the deficit.  It's like we're paying the government to make health care less efficient.  That's not a good deal for Americans, and that's why I say, "Bring on the ObamaCare Deficit Debate." 

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