Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Watching the Horse Race, Missing the Earthquake

As 99.99999 % of the media concentrates exclusively the task of convincing the world that another day when Mitt Romney once again won more delegates than any other candidate and extended his lead (still better than 2-to-1, and growing) over his competitors was somehow a loss for him, even attentive news consumers will miss this far more consequential bit of information:
President Obama's national health care law will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, according to a new projection released today by the Congressional Budget Office, rather than the $940 billion forecast when it was signed into law.
Democrats employed many accounting tricks when they were pushing through the national health care legislation, the most egregious of which was to delay full implementation of the law until 2014, so it would appear cheaper under the CBO's standard ten-year budget window and, at least on paper, meet Obama's pledge that the legislation would cost "around $900 billion over 10 years." When the final CBO score came out before passage, critics noted that the true 10 year cost would be far higher than advertised once projections accounted for full implementation.
Today, the CBO released new projections from 2013 extending through 2022, and the results are as critics expected: the ten-year cost of the law's core provisions to expand health insurance coverage has now ballooned to $1.76 trillion.
[Related: What he said.]

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