Thursday, March 15, 2012

CBO's New Affordable Care Act Numbers Promising.

Numbers wonk Ezra Klein is usually a very skeptical analyst, with good and bad things to say about every little twist and turn in the economy. So when he reported how good the CBO numbers were on the Affordable Care Act, and its pretty optimistic outlook, I was feeling pretty good.

Ezra even interviews the guy who came up with Romneycare and Obamacare to get his analysis.

On the other side of reality, this is what I tuned into after all the Affordable Care Act's good news an hour later on Fox Business; Lou Dobbs ripping the CBO report, economist Doug Holtz-Eakin and Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth. Needless to say, the sky is falling:

The big lie here is that the CBO report did not say what Dobbs and his guests were all worked up about. Here's what it really said...all positive, which is a bit unusual:
From the CBO Report: Estimates Through Fiscal Year 2022: This report also presents estimates through fiscal year 2022, because the baseline projection period now extends through that additional year. The ACA’s provisions related to insurance coverage are now projected to have a net cost of $1,252 billion over the 2012-2022 period; that amount represents a gross cost to the federal government of $1,762 billion, offset in part by $510 billion in receipts and other budgetary effects (primarily revenues from penalties and other sources).

The addition of 2022 to the projection period has the effect of increasing the costs of the coverage provisions of the ACA relative to those projected in March 2011 for the 2012-2021 period because that change adds a year in which the expansion of eligibility for Medicaid and subsidies for health insurance purchased through the exchanges will be in effect. CBO and JCT have not estimated the budgetary effects in 2022 of the other provisions of the ACA; over the 2012-2021 period, those other provisions were previously estimated to reduce budget deficits.

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