Tags: Obamacare | Deficit | Fast | Loose

Obamacare and the Deficit: Facts Fast and Loose

Thursday, 13 Jan 2011 10:41 AM

Claims that Obamacare will reduce the deficit, expand it, or is a job-killer amount to silly, over-the-top, hypocritical political rhetoric. An analysis of Republican and Democratic assertions about repeal of the measure concluded that both sides are playing fast and loose with the facts, The Washington Post said.

obamacare, deficit, costsHouse Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio (pictured), has attacked Congressional Budget Office estimates of cost savings as “their opinion,” while Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., asserted that repealing the measure would cost the government $1.2 trillion, the Post said.

“By the CBO's math, the bill does reduce the deficit--and that repealing the bill would increase the deficit. Some of Boehner's assertions have a basis in fact, but you can't dismiss the umpire in the middle of the game when you don't like the calls he makes,” the Post said. “Meanwhile, many Democrats are playing their own games with the numbers. Weiner's statement is typical--he takes a very hazy forecast 20 years down the road and treats it as the gospel truth.”

In its nearly 1,700 word analysis, the Post admits the issue is complicated and the “focus on the numbers silly.” However, the independent CBO concluded that the bill would reduce the deficit by $143 billion in the first ten years. “The CBO has a respectable track record, but CBO's numbers are based on models, and models can be flawed,” the Post said.

While noting the figure looks “pretty shaky, if not fictitious,” the Post said that CBO experts concluded the law would reduce the number of uninsured and slow the growth of federal budget health care costs. Nonetheless, Weiner’s claim repealing the measure would cost $1.2 trillion is “misleading” and “absurd.”

The Post awarded each side three Pinocchios, named for the character popularized by Disney whose nose grows longer with each lie, for “significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions,” one step away from its worst designation of four Pinocchios defined as “whoppers.”

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