A repeal of health care reform would increase the deficit hundreds of billions of dollars, according to a report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office on Jan. 6. Republicans ignored it, even though reducing the deficit is the party’s professed overarching goal. Despite the CBO report, House Republicans insist on forging ahead with a vote to repeal health care reform as their first order of business.
GOP to vote on increasing deficit by $230 billion
The Republican bill to repeal health care reform is called the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” The Congressional Budget Office reviewed the provisions outlined in the bill and submitted a report to GOP House Speaker John Boehner. The CBO concluded that a repeal of health care reform would increase the federal deficit by about $230 billion in the next decade. The report also said that repeal would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 32 million. Republicans countered with a report of their own titled “Obama-care: A budget-busting, job-killing health care law.”
How health care repeal increases the deficit
The CBO review reminded Republicans that a repeal of health care reform would rescind planned cuts in federal spending on health care. The new health care law requires that government subsidies for Medicare Advantage, private plans made available as an an alternative to Medicare, will be cut by $132 billion in the next decade. Payments for home health care sponsored by Medicare will also be cut by about $40 billion in 10 years. A repeal of health care reform would also roll back Medicare tax increases on individuals making more than $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000 that would raise $210 billion. Revenue from fees levied on insurance and medical technology companies would also disappear.
Another kow-tow to the Tea Party
In their zeal to repeal health care reform, the Republican majority in the House is forcing a vote without giving Democrats the chance to propose amendments to the bill, which is two paragraphs long. The GOP “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” is likely nothing more than political grandstanding to appease Tea Party activists demanding a repeal as early as possible. The bill is expected to die in the Democratic-controlled Senate before President Obama would ever have a chance to exercise a certain veto.