From the very beginning defenders of the status quo have held up the Congressional Budget Office as the gold standard for judging the impact of health reform legislation on the deficit. Indeed, as recently as two weeks ago, when alternative legislation based on insurance industry proposals was introduced, those opponents of real reform boasted of the CBO's declaration that it would cut the deficit by $68 billion over 10 years.
But that was a long time ago (two weeks ago), and now times have changed. Now that the very same CBO has declared that the Senate’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act cuts $130 billion from the deficit, those same defenders of the status quo seem to be saying that the CBO estimate is meaningless.
Their argument claims that because some aspects of the legislation don’t kick in for the first few years, such as the health insurance exchange, the CBO estimate is skewed. Here are the facts:
No matter how you try to twist or distort its analysis, the Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that the Senate Health Bill is a solidly fiscally responsible approach to health reform.