They're pulling the wool over our eyes

Or trying to.  Let’s go to this New York Time piece titled “Democrats Cheer Budget Forecast on Health Care Bill“:

As House Democrats geared up for a possible vote on Sunday to pass health care legislation, the Congressional Budget Office issued an analysis allowing them to point to significant cost savings in the decades ahead.

The House Democratic leader, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, said that the nonpartisan budget office had determined that the package of legislation, which would cost about $940 billion over ten years, would produce “the largest deficit reduction of any bill we have adopted in Congress since 1993,” when it passed tax increases sought by President Clinton.

In the first ten years, the health legislation would reduce deficits by $138 billion,and the effect on deficits over the following decade would be much greater — Democrats said $1.2 trillion — although such long term forecasts are more speculative. The savings would come largely from reductions in the growth of Medicare spending, with new fees and tax increases also contributing.

The full text of the legislation, which would put the final touches on a delicate compromise between the House and the Senate, was to be issued later on Thursday, House Democrats said.

The bill passed by the Senate in December would have reduced deficits by somewhat less — $118 billion — according to the budget office, whose estimates are considered authoritative. House leaders, who are seeking first to adopt that Senate bill as written and then to fine tune it with a second bill that could be approved by the Senate with a simple majority vote, had spent the past week or two crunching the numbers with the budget office in order to make the best possible fiscal case to their nervous caucus.

The cost of the legislation has been a major concern for many centrist Democrats, a crucial bloc for leaders who are trying to muster the majority to pass the bill.

“We are absolutely giddy over the great news,” said the House’s number three Democrat, Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, who as the party whip is the keeper of its vote tallies.

But what are they giddy about?  This?

House Democrats are trumpeting a new Congressional Budget Office report saying that the “reconciled” Senate version of the Obama healthcare bill will save $120-$130 billion in the first ten years, and more after that.

The Washington Post and Politico are blaring headlines about these claimed savings.

However, House Budget Committee Ranking Republican Paul Ryan (WI) issued the following statement:

“The Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that there is currently no official cost estimate.  Yet House Democrats are touting to the press – and spinning for partisan gain – numbers that have not been released and are impossible to confirm.  Rep. James Clyburn stated he was “giddy” about these unsubstantiated numbers.  This is the latest outrageous exploitation by the Majority – in this case abusing the confidentiality of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office – to pass their massive health care overhaul at any cost.”

It’s continued smoke and mirrors folks.  It’s what they’re about.

Here’s what the CBO did release:

Although CBO completed a preliminary review of legislative language prior to its release, the agency has not thoroughly examined the reconciliation proposal to verify its consistency with the previous draft. This estimate is therefore preliminary, pending a review of the language of the reconciliation proposal, as well as further review and refinement of the budgetary projections.

The deceit continues.  Don’t be sucked in.


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