The House has been busy since New Year’s Day, trying their level best to gut everything President Obama has ever done. Working to repeal Obamacare, and passing a rule that makes it easy for them to undo his last-minute regulations, are just the tip of the iceberg here. The House has also just voted on a rule that would allow them to conceal the true costs of certain initiatives, probably to make themselves smell like roses later on regardless of what happens.
This particular rule prohibits the Congressional Budget Office from disclosing any spikes in the deficit that result from repealing Obamacare. Why? Because Obamacare has actually saved a lot of money for Medicare, making it so that Medicare contributes a lot less to the deficit than ever before. Republicans don’t want the public to know that those savings will disappear when the ACA disappears, because obviously.
The new rule appears to require the CBO to perform ten-year analyses of each bill the House reports. But there are a few new lines, and this is where Republicans got sneaky and dishonest. They actually tell the CBO not to disclose how much repealing Obamacare is going to cost [emphasis mine]:
- (4) LIMITATION.—This subsection shall not apply to any bill or joint resolution, or amendment thereto or conference report thereon—
- repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and title I and subtitle B of title II of the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010;
- reforming the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010; or
- For which the chair of the Committee on the Budget has made an adjustment to the allocations, levels, or limits contained in the most recently adopted concurrent resolution on the budget.
The CBO has done these cost analyses in the past, and they’ve reported that repealing Obamacare would, in fact, add more than $300 billion to the deficit. Of course the GOP doesn’t want anyone to know that – it makes liars out of them, considering they keep saying the deficit is out of control.
The CBO is supposed to be non-partisan, in part to show the costs and benefits of certain decisions without regard to who made those decisions. Since the GOP gained control of Congress, though, they’re worked hard to mold the CBO into a Republican puppet office. If this weren’t true, they wouldn’t be quietly creating rules that prevent the CBO from doing its job.
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