02/26/2013 05:36 pm ET Updated Feb 28, 2013

Jeff Sessions' Claim That Obamacare Would Increase Deficit Is 'Dishonest,' ThinkProgress Points Out

One Republican senator's claim that Obamacare would increase the deficit by trillions of dollars over the next 75 years is "dishonest," ThinkProgress points out in a new blog post.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said at a Budget Committee hearing on Tuesday: "According to GAO [Government Accountability Office], under a realistic set of assumptions, the health care law will increase the deficit by...roughly $6.2 trillion over the next 75 years."

But GAO spokesman Charles Young noted in a statement to The Huffington Post on Thursday that "we did not make such an estimate. There are number of different reasonable methods one could use that would result in a variety of different estimates. This is one such calculation."

As ThinkProgress notes, what Sessions failed to point out is that this figure was based on a model a scenario that exists only in theory: That the government would phase out Obamacare's cost control mechanisms while maintaining the rest of the law.

The report, which was released in January and commissioned by Sessions, found that if Obamacare is fully implemented, it would actually reduce the deficit. The deficit would only increase if the government phases out Obamacare's cost-containment mechanisms, the report found.

You can read ThinkProgress's full post here.

The Congressional Budget Office also found last year that Obamacare would reduce the deficit.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Sessions instructed the GAO on how to model its report. In fact, the GAO ran these models independently in the report requested by Sessions. This post has also been updated to include a statement from the GAO.



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