Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced that the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would add $230 billion to the federal budget deficit over 10 years and $1.2 trillion in the decade after that. Since Speaker Boehner and company didn't like those numbers -- even though they usually praise what CBO has to say -- they manufactured their own. Ezra Klein of the Washington Post took apart the Republicans' fictional arithmetic in an excellent piece you can read here.
Rejecting the CBO's numbers was yet another example of the astounding double-talk and hypocrisy we've heard from the Republicans in their first few days since taking charge of the House on Wednesday. They got elected by campaigning for deficit reduction, but the first thing they did was increase the deficit.
It's clear that there is no promise the Republicans won't break, no principle they won't sacrifice and no fact they won't ignore in order to let the insurance companies off the hook and strip consumers of important protections like the ban on denying care to people with pre-existing conditions.
The Republicans are trashing the nonpartisan CBO report because it's conclusions are inconvenient. Instead they cooked up their own numbers about the ACA costing money when it really saves $230 billion in the first 10 years and $1.2 trillion in the second decade.
And the impact of repeal on the federal deficit is only part of the problem. The Republicans insist on calling the ACA "job-killing." It's exactly the opposite -- it creates jobs. A report out today by Harvard economics professor David Cutler concludes that repeal would destroy 250,000 to 400,000 jobs annually. Over the next decade, that's up to 4 million jobs killed by repeal.
The Republicans' reckless repeal bill will put insurance companies back in charge of our health care and restore the 'anything-goes' premium rate hikes that are crushing consumers and businesses. Repeal means letting the insurance companies deny care to people with pre-existing conditions and run roughshod over consumers.
The health insurance companies are certainly getting what they paid for in the 2010 elections.
And what do the Republicans want to replace the new law with? Nothing. They're referring that question to House committees that will deliberate for months and play political football with our lives and health.
When the Republicans vote for repeal on Jan. 12, they'll be telling seniors they have to pay back the $250 donut hole checks they received to help buy prescription drugs. They'll be booting young adults off their parents' health plans. They'll be taking away people's newly won freedom from fear of insurers denying their care, dropping people who get sick and imposing double-digit premium hikes with impunity. The Republican repeal plan will force nearly 900,000 American families to go bankrupt because of huge medical bills.
We've finally gotten the insurance companies off our backs, and the first thing the Republicans want to do is put them back in charge.
You can join the fight against repeal here.