GAO: Obamacare Will Add $6.2 Trillion To Deficits


“First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future,” said President Obama about health care reform on September 9th of 2009. “I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period. And to prove that I’m serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don’t materialize.”

Well, according to the GAO, Obamacare is set to add $6.2 trillion to budget deficits. So, uh, where’s that provision for spending cuts?

From Andrew Stiles:

The GAO report is essentially the first attempt to isolate and calculate Obamacare’s impact on the deficit beyond the traditional ten-year budget window. …

The baseline scenario is far more optimistic, largely because it does not take into account the concerns — expressed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Trustees, and Medicare’s chief actuary — about “whether certain cost-containment mechanisms included in PPACA can be sustained over the long term.”

The alternative scenario, which incorporates the more realistic “alternative projections” suggested by CBO, the CMS trustees, and the chief Medicare actuary, is even more dire. Under this scenario, the “primary deficit” increases by 0.7 percent of GDP over the 75-year period. The GAO does not put a dollar value on that figure, but Senate Budget Committee staff has calculated, and GAO has confirmed, that it would amount to a $6.2 trillion increase in the federal deficit.

North Dakota readers will remember, also, that Senator Heidi Heitkamp claimed during her campaign that Obamacare would reduce the deficit. “If you look at the entire bill, and we can pull out CBO numbers, it actually is a budget saver,” she claimed to a citizen questioner (video here). “It actually reduces the deficit. Yeah, and so we’ll get you those numbers.”

That is demonstrably untrue. But don’t expect any reporters to call Heitkamp to task for her earlier comments.