August 15, 2012 in Letters, Opinion

Deficit reduction an illusion

 

I was dismayed by the July 25 front page headline “Federal health law will shrink deficit.” In quoting the nonpartisan CBO report, the article conveniently forgets to mention that the CBO relies heavily on revenue and savings projections provided by the authors of the legislation. In effect, their conclusion is somewhat preordained based on the assumptions provided to them.

Anyone who studies the fiscal assumptions of the 2010 health care reform law will find that most of the claimed benefits are illusory at best. In addition, nearly 50 percent of the cost is paid for by Medicare spending cuts. Medicare, however, is already seriously underfunded. Any Medicare savings (if they materialize) must be used to fund future Medicare benefits, not to pay for a new entitlement program.

A truly nonbiased analysis would show that the 2010 law will add hundreds of billions to the national debt over the longer term. The S-R should instead explain why the majority of Americans want this poorly conceived and harmful law repealed. New legislation could be formulated that accomplishes the same objectives but does not hurt 95 percent of Americans, steal from Medicare or put the government in charge of our nation’s health care system.

Thomas Nelson

Sandpoint


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