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Thursday, March 18, 2010

CBO - The Spin Starts Before The Report Released

Clever Democratic tactic.

Leak the supposedly positive, but contrived, aspects of the latest CBO report to favored bloggers, so that the news cycle is favorable: CBO Score On Health Care Bill Released: Boosts Democrats' Hopes Of Passing Reform, even though the report is not actually available as of this writing (emphasis mine):
Comprehensive health care reform will cost the federal government $940 billion over a ten-year period, but will increase revenue and cut other costs by a greater amount, leading to a reduction of $130 billion in the federal deficit over the same period, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, a Democratic source tells HuffPost. It will cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next ten years.
Hard for me to criticize the headline when the actual report is not yet posted at the CBO website, so I can't point out the phony assumptions CBO was forced to follow in their calculations.

Just another sign that this CBO score will be like the others, a contrived end result where it is critical to dig into the details to get the real story.

More evidence of the corrupt nature of this process.

Update 10:54 a.m. - CBO report still not posted on its website, yet the spinning is going full steam ahead.

Update 11:02 a.m. - Are we dealing with outright f-ing liars? (I know, rhetorical question.) Via HotAir, CBO apparently is denying it has completed its official cost estimate.

Update 11:30 a.m. - The report apparently has been released, but the CBO website is jammed. HotAir has it and quotes the usual "we really don't know what these numbers mean but we'll guesstimate them anyway" language (not a quote, my synopsis).

Here is a link to the report. Here's my review, Inconvenient Words In CBO Report

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  1. How does it "leading to a reduction of $130 billion in the federal deficit" as well as "It will cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next ten years."? So which is it?

    How much does it cost, on average, to provide health care to the average person per year? Just multiply that by the number of people being covered and that's how much it's going to cost. Like the federal government is actually going to decrease some other expenditures to actually offset these costs. Please.

    How can these people vote for this when they all know, deep down, that it's a pack of lies? How can they screw us and our children and our future generations over so much, for short term political gain? It's appalling.

  2. I know its a simple oversight, but CNN forgot to mention this when they were tripping over themselves to report on the wonderful findings.

    From the CBO report:

    “Although CBO completed a preliminary review of legislative language prior to its release, the agency has not thoroughly examined the reconciliation proposal to verify its consistency with the previous draft. This estimate is therefore preliminary, pending a review of the language of the reconciliation proposal, as well as further review and refinement of the budgetary projections.”

  3. They probably are assuming that it will lead to a reduction in Medicare and Medicaid expenditures by controlling costs. Of course, what they don't take into account is the potential long-term impact on the quality of care, which would be beyond anybody's control. The New England Journal of Medicine made it pretty clear that it would probably lead to a mass exodus of doctors, to the tune of as many as a third. If a public option were included, it could lead to as many as forty percent leaving the profession, or more.

    Here's a link to the story if anyone is interested.

    New England Journal Of Medicine

  4. Does anyone know if the Student Loan program was included in the most recent CBO estimate? If so, this would account for 10's of billions in savings that would completely make the CBO numbers closer to fraud than to misleading. It would, however, explain why Pelosi wanted it in the bill to begin with.

  5. Wow, just read the Ezra Klein piece. That kid is a clueless tool. I'm amazed WaPo would hire such and amateur (well not that amazed).