Rove Still Pushing Health Care Deficit Reduction Misinformation


In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Karl Rove wrote, "the claim by the Office of Management and Budget that the [health care] bill will cut the deficit" is not "credible." But nonpartisan experts, such as the Congressional Budget Office, have consistently supported the claim that health care reform will reduce the deficit.

Rove Misleads On Health Care Deficit Reduction

Rove: "The Claim By The Office Of Management And Budget That The Bill Will Cut The Deficit" Is "Not Credible." In a January 20 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Fox News contributor Karl Rove claimed: "Virtually every claim the Obama administration has made on its behalf is turning out to be untrue. (Recall 'If you like your current [health-care] plan, you will be able to keep it.') Or it wasn't credible to start with, such as the claim by the Office of Management and Budget that the bill will cut the deficit." [Wall Street Journal, 01/20/2011]

In Fact, Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office Agrees That Health Care Reform Will Reduce The Deficit

CBO, JCT Found Health Care Reform Legislation Would Reduce The Deficit By $143 Billion Through 2019. From a March 20, 2010, CBO cost estimate of the Senate health reform bill and the health care and education reconciliation bill:

CBO and JCT [Joint Committee on Taxation] estimate that enacting both pieces of legislation--H.R. 3590 and the reconciliation proposal--would produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion over the 2010-2019 period as result of changes in direct spending and revenues (see Table 1). That figure comprises $124 billion in net reductions deriving from the health care and revenue provisions and $19 billion in net reductions deriving from the education provisions. [Congressional Budget Office, 3/20/10]

Estimate Also Found Reform Legislation Would Continue To Reduce Deficit In Second Decade. CBO further stated:

Reflecting the changes made by the reconciliation proposal, the combined effect of enacting H.R. 3590 and the reconciliation proposal would also be to reduce federal budget deficits over the ensuing decade relative to those projected under current law--with a total effect during that decade in a broad range around one-half percent of GDP. [Congressional Budget Office, 3/20/10]

CBO Budget Outlook Says Health Care Reform Law Will "Reduce Budget Deficits Over The 2010-2019 Period And In Subsequent Years." CBO's June 30, 2010, long-term budget outlook states that the health care reform law "is expected to increase federal spending in the next 10 years and for most of the following decade. By 2030, however, that legislation will slightly reduce federal spending for health care if all of its provisions are fully implemented, CBO projects." CBO noted in a footnote that although the law -- which will reduce the number of uninsured by 32 million by 2019 -- will increase federal spending on health care in the next two decades, it will still reduce budget deficits:

If all of its provisions are carried out, the legislation will also increase federal revenues and reduce budget deficits over the 2010-2019 period and in subsequent years, according to estimates by CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation. [Congressional Budget Office, 6/30/10]

CBO: In Long-Term, Health Care Reform "Slow[s] The Accumulation Of Debt Considerably." While cautioning that long-term estimates of health care spending are uncertain, the CBO budget outlook stated that if the health care reform bill is implemented as written, it "increase[s] projected revenues, particularly in the 2030s and beyond, thus slowing the accumulation of debt considerably." [Congressional Budget Office, 6/30/10]

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
Wall Street Journal
Karl Rove
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