CBO: Repeal of ACA Will Explode Future Deficits

by Gary Therkildsen*, 1/6/2011

Here's an interesting piece of news out of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO): the Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will increase federal budget deficits "something in the vicinity of $230 billion" over the next ten years. What was that pledge the GOP made to the American people before the midterms? It included something about bringing down deficits, didn't it?

What's the opposite of well thought out and helpful public policy?

Writing in his official blog this morning, Director Doug Elmendorf observed, "Because CBO and JCT estimated that the March 2010 health care legislation would reduce deficits over the 2010-2019 period ... we expect that repealing that legislation would increase budget deficits."

It's important to note that the $230 billion figure is CBO's back-of-the-envelope calculation and Elmendorf says a more detailed estimate is forthcoming, but that estimate will likely not differ greatly from this "less-detailed preliminary analysis."

Interestingly, the House Republican majority titled the bill the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act." I don't know what genius came up with that witty title, but there's zero evidence that the ACA will "significantly change the number of jobs or the unemployment rate," according to the well-respected Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).

Now we know that not only will this silly-titled bill not only save zero jobs – because none were in danger in the first place – it will cost our country close to a quarter of a trillion dollars over the next decade, and that doesn't even include the loss of savings in the out years. Oh, and I almost forgot, the repeal bill will cost 32 million Americans their health insurance compared to the policy under ACA.

Image by Flickr user johnsolid used under a Creative Commons license.

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