medicaid

Congressional Budget Office Fudges Numbers To Make 2016 Healthcare Stats Look Good

Even though the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has retroactively revised its estimates, roughly nine million people who would otherwise have had private insurance lost their coverage– because of Obamacare.

The Weekly Standard best explains how the CBO fudged Obamacare numbers to make 2016 healthcare projections appear better than they are.

[T]he CBO maintains that Obamacare has actually increased the number of people with private health insurance by 9 million and has increased the number of people on Medicaid or CHIP by (just) 13 million. But it would seem that the only reason the CBO can make these claims is that it has moved the goalposts.

That is, the CBO has significantly altered its estimates for what 2016 would have looked like if Obamacare had never been passed. In 2013, the CBO projected that, in the absence of Obamacare, 186 million people would have had private health insurance in 2016, and 34 million people would have been on Medicaid or CHIP. The CBO now maintains that, in the absence of Obamacare, only 168 million people would have had private health insurance in 2016 (a reduction of 18 million people from its 2013 projection), while 55 million people would have been on Medicaid or CHIP (an increase of 21 million people from its 2013 projection). Somehow the hypothetical non-Obamacare world has changed a lot in the past three years. (The CBO doesn’t explain how this could have happened.)

The analysis highlights that instead of 34 million or even 55 million people, the actual number of people covered by these programs in 2016 is 68 million– which really means that “Obamacare is pretty much a giant Medicaid expansion.”

These numbers only account for 32 states that have expanded Medicaid coverage under Obamacare.

CBO has also masked true costs associated is genuine outcomes. The Standard reports:

Try finding, for example, tallies from the federal government (whether from the CBO or otherwise) on what Obamacare has actually cost so far. Rather, the CBO is like a handicapper who predicts the results of horse races, but then never bothers to publish the races’ actual results.

If measures can’t be calculated, what is the point of burdening the taxpayer with unmeasurable, and obviously, unmanageable programs? 

The Weekly Standard’s assessment that Obamacare is “basically an expensive Medicaid expansion coupled with 2,400 pages of liberty-sapping mandates” is sadly, accurate. But it’s worse than that– an unconstitutional ruling based on political pressure, not the Constitution, created and untenable situation for at least 26 states suing the federal government, and small businesses that either closed their businesses, laid off workers, or eliminated healthcare benefits.

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