The White House is challenging a report released today that claims the Affordable Care Act would increase the budget deficit:
Today, we are reading about another brand of “new math” in describing how the Affordable Care Act will affect our nation’s federal budget deficit. In another attempt to refight the battles of the past, one former Bush administration official is wrongly claiming that some of the savings in the Affordable Care Act are “double-counted” and that the law actually increases the deficit. This claim is false.
According to the official administration and congressional scorekeepers, the Affordable Care Act will reduce the deficit: its costs are more than fully paid for. The Office of Management and Budget and Congressional Budget Office project lower federal budget deficits as a result of the law. The Congressional Budget Office is charged with assessing how legislation would affect the deficit. When the health care bill was passed by Congress, CBO wrote:
“CBO and JCT estimate that enacting both pieces of legislation—H.R. 3590 and the reconciliation proposal—would produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion over the 2010-2019 period as [a] result of changes in direct spending and revenues.”
And just last month, in updating its estimates of key parts of the law, CBO estimated that the insurance coverage provisions of the health care law would, compared to last year’s estimates for the same time period, cost $50 billion less. Assuming no change to the rest of the estimates, this means $50 billion more in deficit reduction.