Health Policy Experts Agree With SBC Analysis Of CBO Data: Obamacare Makes Deficits Worse

“I will not sign a [health care] plan that adds one dime to our deficits -- either now or in the future. I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.” President Barack Obama, remarks to a Joint Session of Congress (September 9, 2009)


“One of the strongest arguments for passage of the law was the contention, backed up by a CBO estimate [at the time], that its combination of tax increases and spending cuts would exceed the cost of the law and reduce the deficit… [But now,] in a projection bound to spark controversy, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions is releasing a report… arguing that the 2010 health care law will increase the deficit rather than reduce it.” Congressional Quarterly, “GOP Analysis Finds Health Care Law Increases Deficit” (October 14, 2014)


“It is now more than 2 years [since the last CBO cost estimate], and it is time to update that analysis taking into account changes in the economy and the health sector that directly impact the cost of the legislation… CBO does not [usually] measure the impact of such labor market effects in estimating the cost of legislation… [But] the ACA is a $2 trillion legislative behemoth whose broader economic impacts cannot be overlooked. Budget estimators may ignore the loss of jobs, but policymakers do so at their own peril.” Joseph Antos, scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute, op-ed at The Morning Consult (October 20, 2014)


“A new analysis from the Senate Budget Committee Republicans shows that Obamacare will increase the deficit by $131 billion over the next decade even using the CBO’s own scoring conventions.” Chris Conover, research scholar at the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research at Duke University, op-ed in Forbes (October 17, 2014)


“What’s interesting about the SBC staff assessment is that it is based on CBO’s own numbers and analyses… CBO’s official cost estimates are important, but they can be overrated too because they can be manipulated during the legislative process… It was obvious in 2010, and more obvious now with the SBC Republican-staff analysis, that on several levels the official cost estimate… fell far short of telling the whole story.” James C. Capretta, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, op-ed in National Review (October 23, 2014)


“The report released today by the Senate Budget Committee Republicans makes the intuition about the impacts of Obamacare concrete: Fewer people working means less aggregate income is being earned, which translates into less tax revenue for the federal government. That, in turn, leads to increased deficits.” Lanhee Chen, research fellow at the Hoover Institution, op-ed in Bloomberg View (October 14, 2014)


“The Senate budget analysts’ work is fully transparent. Based on Congressional Budget Office (CBO) data on medical spending and labor market effects, it is quite easy to check out.” Robert E. Moffitt, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Health Policy Studies, op-ed in The Hill (October 20, 2014)


“[The Senate Budget Committee analysis] includes more years when direct Obamacare taxes are active and upping their deficit-reducing totals by several billion as well. Even with the advantages, that brings Obamacare’s grand total to $131 billion tacked onto the deficit after all, lending credence to those who have long argued the health-care law would cost much more than the White House promised.” The Daily Caller, “Senate GOP: Obamacare To Up The Deficit By $131 Billion” (October 14, 2014)


“It seems relatively safe to say that Obamacare — which Democrats passed over unanimous Republican opposition with just three votes to spare in the House and without a single vote to spare in the Senate — wouldn’t have passed had it been scored as a deficit bill.” The Weekly Standard, “CBO Projections Indicate Obamacare Will Raise Deficits by $131 Billion” (October 14, 2014)

NOTE: To view the Budget Committee's original analysis, please click here.