Monday, January 4, 2010

Health care accounting tricks in the Washington Examiner

I have a piece in the Sunday Washington Examiner on deficit accounting in the Senate health care bill. The short story: it can either strengthen Medicare or it can reduce the deficit, but it can't do both.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid proudly declares that the Senate health reform bill "saves money and saves Medicare," reducing the budget deficit by $132 billion over 10 years, while extending Medicare's solvency.

In fact, only by double-counting savings from Social Security and Medicare does the Nevada Democrat's plan reduce government borrowing. Without this dubious accounting, the Reid Senate bill increases the non-Social Security/Medicare deficit by almost $250 billion. A surprisingly frank new Congressional Budget Office analysis calls foul on this off-the-books borrowing.

Click here to read the whole column.

1 comment:

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