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Document drop: CBO scores the health care takeover

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 14, 2009 04:33 PM

A Senate staffer passes along the CBO/Joint Committee on Taxation report scoring the House health care takeover.

Bottom line from the staffer:

$1.042 trillion over “ten years”, though the program really gets going in 2015 so its more like a 5 year score. Also, don’t forget most bills carve out unions so that they have a reprieve. Who needs card check [with] US government health insurance as a recruiting tool.

I’ve uploaded the full report: Read it here.

From the caveats section of the report intro:

Important Caveats Regarding This Preliminary Analysis

There are several reasons why the preliminary analysis that is provided in this letter and its attachments does not constitute a comprehensive cost estimate for the coverage provisions of America’s Affordable Health Choices Act:

• First, our analysis was based on specifications regarding insurance coverage that were provided by the tri-committee group and that differ in important ways from the “discussion draft” version of legislative language that was released on June 19, 2009. The specifications that we analyzed are supposed to be reflected in the draft language released by the three committees today, but we have not yet been able to analyze that language to determine whether it conforms to those specifications. Our review of that language could have a significant effect on our analysis. More generally, as our understanding of the specifications improves, that also could affect our future estimates.

• Second, some effects of the proposal have not yet been fully captured in our analysis. In particular, we have not yet estimated the administrative costs to the federal government of implementing the specified policies, nor have we accounted for all of the proposal’s likely effects on spending for other federal
programs. We expect to include those effects in the near future, but we also expect that they will not have a sizable impact on our analysis.

• Third, the budgetary information shown in the attached table reflects many of the major cash flows that would affect the federal budget as a result of implementing the specified policies, and it provides our preliminary assessment of the proposal’s net effects on the federal budget deficit (subject to the caveats listed above). Some additional cash flows would appear in the budget—either as outlays and offsetting receipts or outlays and revenues—but would net to zero and thus would not affect the deficit. CBO and the JCT staff have not yet estimated all of those cash flows but expect to do so in the near
future.2 Those additional cash flows would include the premiums collected by the public plan and its outlays as well as risk-adjustment transfers from plans with relatively healthy enrollees to plans with relatively unhealthy enrollees.

***

Update: Check out the very handy chart from Philip Klein making clear how the CBO’s 10-Year time frame obscures the full cost of Obamacare. Some 83 percent of the spending in the Dems’ House plan doesn’t kick in until the second 5-year period.

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