Obama’s Healthcare Add Up To $530 Billion To The Federal Budget Deficit
Obama’s healthcare law could sharply exceed its cost-savings targets and add up to $530 billion to the federal budget deficit, a leading authority on U.S. government benefit programs said on Tuesday. A study by Charles Blahous, a George Mason University research fellow and the Republican trustee for the Medicare and Social Security entitlement programs for the elderly, challenges the administration’s contention that the 2010 law would better keep healthcare costs in line.
Known as the “Affordable Care Act,” or “Obamacare,” the measure to expand health insurance for millions of Americans is considered Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement. Summary: Health Care Reform Bill H.R. 4872
Remember this Drudge-linked article:
U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson allowed two major counts to proceed: the states’ challenge to the controversial requirement that nearly all Americans buy insurance and a required expansion of the Medicaid program.
In his ruling, Vinson criticized Democrats for seeking to have it both ways when it comes to defending the mandate to buy insurance. During the legislative debate, Republicans chastised the proposal as a new tax on the middle class. Obama defended the payment as a penalty and not a tax, but the Justice Department has argued that legally, it’s a tax.
“Congress should not be permitted to secure and cast politically difficult votes on controversial legislation by deliberately calling something one thing, after which the defenders of that legislation take an “Alice-in-Wonderland” tack and argue in court that Congress really meant something else entirely, thereby circumventing the safeguard that exists to keep their broad power in check,” he wrote.
The Supreme Court justices are expected to issue decisions in the dispute by late June, a time when the presidential campaign season is likely to be in full swing.
“It’s not that common for presidents to get into direct verbal confrontations with the Supreme Court,” said Georgetown University law professor Louis Michael Seidman. “But it’s also not that common for the Supreme Court to threaten to override one of the president’s central legislative accomplishments.”
A spokeswoman for Mitt Romney, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, took issue with Obama’s preemptive strike and his use of the word “unprecedented.”
“What was ‘unprecedented’ was the partisan process President Obama used to shove this unconstitutional bill through despite the overwhelming objections from Americans across the country,” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul.
The problem here is that we and Congress were told, endlessly and ad nauseam prior to Obamacare being passed, that the health care mandate was not a tax. Do you remember?
A CNN report from last year is typical of what we heard:
In a testy exchange on ABC’s “This Week,” broadcast Sunday, Obama rejected the assertion that forcing people to obtain coverage would violate his campaign pledge against raising taxes on middle-class Americans.
“For us to say you have to take responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase,” Obama said in response to persistent questioning, later adding: “Nobody considers that a tax increase.”
…Asked again about critics calling the requirement to pay for health insurance a tax increase, Obama said: “My critics say everything is a tax increase.”
The president, who once taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, said the “individual mandate” that requires most people to buy insurance was critical to the success of the healthcare overhaul. The Supreme Court is looking at whether Congress exceeded its power to regulate commerce in U.S. states with that mandate.
“I think the justices should understand that in the absence of an individual mandate, you cannot have a mechanism to ensure that people with preexisting conditions can actually get health care,” Obama said. “So there’s not only a economic element to this, and a legal element to this, but there’s a human element to this. And I hope that’s not forgotten in this political debate.”
Obama and the Democrats believe the law will control skyrocketing costs and curtail government “red ink.”
Obama answered a question today about the possible Supreme Court decision to repeal Obamacare’s unprecedented individual mandate. Obama dared the court to follow the US Constitution and declare the law illegal.
“We are confident that this will be upheld because it should be upheld.”
The Politico reported:
President Barack Obama voiced confidence Monday that the Supreme Court will uphold his health care law in his first public remarks on the issue since the three days of oral arguments last week.
Obama suggested that the high court would be guilty of “judicial activism” if it overturned the law, and stressed that he believed the justices would see the individual mandate as an integral part of the law.
“We are confident that this will be upheld because it should be upheld,” Obama said at a joint news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
“The reason is because in accordance with precedent out there, it’s constitutional,” Obama said. “That’s not just my opinion, by the way. That’s the opinion of legal experts across the ideological spectrum, including two very conservative appellate court justices who said this wasn’t even a close case.”
During three days of hearings last week, conservative justices signaled skepticism toward the individual mandate, which requires nearly all Americans to buy health insurance or pay a fine. Upholding the law without the mandate did not appear to be embraced either, based on the questions asked. Overturning the law would be “an unprecedented, extraordinary step” since it was passed by a majority of members in the House and Senate. But Blahous, a former economic adviser in the George W. Bush White House, said in his research that the law is expected to boost net federal spending by more than $1.15 trillion and add between $340 billion and $530 billion to deficits between 2012-21.
“Relative to previous law, the (healthcare law) both exacerbates projected federal deficits and increases an already unsustainable federal commitment to health care spending,” he concluded.
The analysis, first reported by the Washington Post late on Monday, also comes a month after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cut the estimated net cost of the healthcare law by $48 billion to $1.08 trillion through 2021.
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