How about we refight the ObamaCare debate with a 12-year budget window? 

Yesterday, I criticized the Obama administration for being intentionally deceptive by stretching the budget window to 12 years so he could claim $4 trillion in deficit reduction in his fiscal speech. But now that I think of it, I kind of wish the administration had used a 12-year budget window when we were debating ObamaCare.

During the writing of health care legislation, Democrats delayed the enactment of the major spending provisions until 2014, shifting 98 percent of the spending to the last six years of the Congressional Budget Office’s 10-year window (then 2010-2019). They did this just so they could claim the bill cost “around $900 billion,” as Obama had pledged.

Were we working with a 12-year budget window through 2021, it would have actually shown that the gross cost of expanding coverage was $1.45 trillion, as current estimates from the CBO now show (see table 1).

Of course, a 14-year window would have been even better, because it would have included 10 years after full implementation, likely bringing the cost to somewhere around $1.8 trillion.

 

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Philip Klein

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