New GOP Spin: Health Reform Might Cut Deficits, but Not Enough
By any objective measure, the $138 billion in deficit savings the Democrats’ health reform bill would rack up over the next 10 years (while extending coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans) is quite an accomplishment — particularly coming from a Congress not exactly known for paying all its bills.
But don’t try to convince the Republicans. After months of blasting the Democrats’ reform proposals for allegedly bankrupting the country with expensive new programs, Republicans now have a brand new message: The deficit savings aren’t enough to justify passing the bill. From The New York Times:
Republicans moved quickly to throw cold water on the claims, noting that government debt is piling up so fast that the health care legislation would barely make a dent. “Any projected savings over 10 years have already been wiped out five times over in just the first five months of the current fiscal year,” said Don Stewart, a spokesman for the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Mr. Stewart cited budget office data showing that the federal government had “incurred a budget deficit of $655 billion in just the first five months of fiscal year 2010.”
Mr. Stewart didn’t mention that their own multi-billion dollar health reform accomplishment of this decade — the creation of Medicare’s (unfunded) prescription drug benefit — has contributed no small amount to the nation’s budget crisis.