Obama Says He Will Not Sign A Health Care Bill That Causes Deficits
The problem, though, is that he’s talking about deficits over the next ten years. Leaving himself a window to sign a bill into law that will create deficits the entire time he’s in office, at which point he can exit the White House and let his successor deal with the problem.
WASHINGTON — With Congressional Democrats growing increasingly nervous about the cost of overhauling the nation’s health care system, President Obama vowed on Saturday to reject any health legislation that would run up the federal deficit.
“I want to be very clear,” Mr. Obama said in his weekly address to the nation. “I will not sign on to any health plan that adds to our deficits over the next decade. And by helping improve quality and efficiency, the reforms we make will help bring our deficits under control in the long term.”
Health care legislation is Mr. Obama’s highest domestic priority, and he has said that controlling costs is an essential component of his plan.
Anyone else feel like when Obama says that he wants to be “clear” it usually means he’s about to lay one of his more carefully-crafted deceptions on us?
Anyway, there are some additional shenanigans going on with this promise. Remember that the CBO reported today that the current Democrat proposal for health care would add $289 billion in deficits to the federal budget over the next ten years, but Democrats say they’re going to offset that by reductions in Medicare spending.
And what is the nature of those reductions? Well, they’re apparently just going to pretend like some of the spending isn’t actually happening:
In the bill, Democrats provide $245 billion to eliminate an annual shortfall in payments to doctors under Medicare. Democrats resolved this annual headache, in large part, to win crucial support for the bill from the American Medical Association. That money currently counts against the overall costs of the bill, but Democrats have introduced legislation that would remove this obligation from federal deficit. However, CBO won’t recognize that change until those new pay-as-you-go rules become law.
So there will still actually be a deficit. It will actually still cause our national debt to grow. But Democrats will have introduced budgeting legislation which allows them to pretend it isn’t happening, and allows Obama to say that he’s not signing a bill that adds to the deficit.
Even though it does.
Neat trick, huh?