Obamacare, Again

Here’s another reason why the fight to repeal Obamacare must be continued and driven to a successful conclusion.

The GAO’s report, at the link, opens with this abstract and graph [emphasis added]:

The effect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), enacted in March 2010, on the long-term fiscal outlook depends largely on whether elements in PPACA designed to control cost growth are sustained.  As shown in the figure below, there was notable improvement in the longer-term outlook after the enactment of PPACA under GAO’s Fall 2010 Baseline Extended simulation, which assumes both the expansion of health care coverage and the full implementation and effectiveness of the cost-containment provisions over the entire 75-year simulation period.  However, the federal budget remains on an unsustainable path.  Further, questions about the implementation and sustainability of these provisions have been raised by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of the Actuary and others, due in part to challenges in sustaining increased health care productivity.  The Fall 2010 Alternative simulation assumed cost containment mechanisms specified in PPACA were phased out over time while the additional costs associated with expanding federal health care coverage remained.  Under these assumptions, the long-term outlook worsened slightly compared to the pre-PPACA January 2010 simulation.

Those “challenges” to sustaining productivity include keeping doctors, hospitals, et al., in the field under the draconian controls Obamacare imposes on them.  The “phase-out” of cost controls will have been driven by the need to…relax…those controls in order to sustain even a level of performance commensurate with the British failed NHS.  Absent those controls, national debt growth is no better than without Obamacare.

At best, Obamacare does nothing to our finances.  However, the GAO also provides this:

Under the Fall 2012 Alternative simulation, spending for Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and federal exchange subsidies almost doubles as a share of GDP by 2035.

That 2012 Alternative is from Senator Jeff Sessions’ (R, AL) request that GAO  re-do their simulations without the administration’s artificial assumptions, eliminating, for instance, the administration’s cynical assumption requirement that the GAO’s original simulation use Obamacare’s initial 10 years—which included only 6 years of costs—as their start point.

The GAO report also has this:

[A]s [the] figure shows, the primary deficit under our Alternative simulation [Sessions’ removed artificial assumptions] increased by 0.7 percent of GDP during this time period [the 75 years of the simulation], due largely to increased spending on Medicaid, CHIP, and exchange subsidies.

That increase works out to over $6 trillion more down the sewer, courtesy of Obamacare.

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