Bartiromo falsehood: Health reform bill costs a "trillion dollars"

››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

Maria Bartiromo falsely asserted as fact that the health care reform proposal under consideration in Congress will cost a "trillion dollars over 10 years." In fact, the Congressional Budget Office found that the House reform bill "would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period."

On MSNBC's Morning Joe on July 27, CNBC host Maria Bartiromo falsely asserted as fact that the health care reform proposal under consideration in Congress will cost a "trillion dollars over 10 years." In fact, the Congressional Budget Office has found that the House tri-committee bill "would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period," not $1 trillion. CBO has not released full cost estimates of the health care reform proposals being considered by the Senate. Bartiromo also stated that experts she had gathered for an upcoming CNBC health care special told her that the health care reform proposal is "too expensive."

During the program, Time magazine editor-at-large Mark Halperin said to Bartiromo: "You've convened an incredible group on this special, people from all -- government, private sector and all that. What is their argument against the general direction of what Congress is doing now? What are the things that concern them that they'd like to see changed." Bartiromo responded: "Well, number one, it's too expensive. A trillion dollars over ten years is just too expensive. We don't have the money for that." Similarly, MSNBC analyst Pat Buchanan later stated, "I think you're dead right, that a trillion dollars given the deficits and the rest of it is simply too expensive, too rich for our blood right now."

In fact, CBO's July 17 cost estimate of the bill as introduced states:

According to CBO's and JCT's assessment, enacting H.R. 3200 would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period. That estimate reflects a projected 10-year cost of the bill's insurance coverage provisions of $1,042 billion, partly offset by net spending changes that CBO estimates would save $219 billion over the same period, and by revenue provisions that JCT estimates would increase federal revenues by about $583 billion over those 10 years.

From the July 27 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:

HALPERIN: You've convened an incredible group on this special, people from all -- government, private sector and all that. What is their argument against the general direction of what Congress is doing now? What are the things that concern them that they'd like to see changed?

BARTIROMO: Well, number one, it's too expensive. A trillion dollars over 10 years is just too expensive. We don't have the money for that.

[...]

BUCHANAN: I'd like to ask Maria a question. You said, and I think you're dead right, that a trillion dollars given the deficits and the rest of it is simply too expensive, too rich for our blood right now. What about the argument that, look, what -- ask first what we can afford, how much we can afford, and then once you get that down -- suppose it's 500 billion or 300 billion, whatever -- and then decide what you can buy with that and get some kind of agreement? Would -- it seems to me Barack Obama, in the long run, if he's not going to get this super program, is gonna be able or gonna have to settle for something like that, isn't he?

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Pat Buchanan, Maria Bartiromo
Show/Publication
Morning Joe
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