This hasn’t been a good week for Representative Vicky Hartzler (r).
Rep. Vicky Hartzler @RepHartzler
Washington Post reports today new study finds health-care law will add $340 billion to deficit. 8:31 AM – 10 Apr 12
Not so fast. That study:
“Double-Counting” Canard Quacks Again
April 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm
Former Bush Administration official Charles Blahous has garnered some media attention by gussying up old, discredited arguments about the budgetary effects of health reform. But his paper adds nothing new to the debate.
Blahous claims the Congressional Budget Office’s cost estimate for the health reform law “double-counts” a considerable portion of the law’s Medicare savings. By subtracting these savings, Blahous asserts that – contrary to CBO – health reform increases the deficit.
But there’s no double-counting involved in recognizing that Medicare savings improve the status of both the federal budget and the Medicare trust funds. The outlooks for the budget and for the Medicare trust funds are two different things; some changes in law may affect one and not the other, but other changes affect both….
….That’s no different than when a baseball player hits a home run: it adds to his team’s score and also improves his batting average. Neither situation involves double-counting.
CBO has accounted for deficit reduction in exactly the same way in previous Congresses, under both political parties. Until opponents of health reform latched onto the notion, no one accused CBO of faulty accounting….
A bad week, desperation for a distraction (any distraction will do) and a lack of critical thinking skills. Check, check, and check.