This morning the Congressional Budget Office released a new report [pdf] on the nation’s fiscal outlook for the next ten years. About thirty seconds later partisans on both sides of the ideological divide started spinning that the report was either good news for America or yet more evidence that Obama is some unholy combination of Jimmy Carter, an irresponsible teenager, and Satan.
Amiable dunderhead Chuck Todd, who always reminds us of that guy whose peak in life was getting elected president of his class at a small liberal arts college, wants everyone to know that the cretinous skinsuits in the GOP will have feels about the report. (Or is it the cretinous skinsuit that is Chuck Todd who is having these feels? We are debating this in the chatcave, along with how many Chuck Todds can dance on the head of a pin.)
Obamacare “feels” like it raises the deficit! Except the report doesn’t say that. The CBO is projecting that the deficit in the near term will continue its recent trend of falling and be down to $517 billion this year, which, while it still sounds like a metric fuckton of money, is the lowest of the Obama era and a decline of nearly $1 trillion since 2009. Yes, the CBO projects the deficit will start to rise again in 2016, but any health care spending that contributes to that (as Chuck himself acknowledged about a minute later) is largely due to our rapidly aging population, which is an issue the ACA was partly designed to help address.
Also a fun side note: the GOP has recently been making a big deal about an ACA provision called “risk corridors,” which the Party of No characterizes as a bailout for the insurance companies (spoiler alert: they’re not). Here, let us outsource the explainer:
[It]’s a provision designed to make insurance companies in the Obamacare exchanges compete on the basis of price and quality, rather than cherry-picking the healthiest customers. The way it works is that companies that wind up with unexpectedly healthy customers pay some of their windfall back to the government, and companies with unexpectedly sick customers get compensated for their losses.
The Republicans in the House were trying to make repealing risk corridors a condition of raising the debt ceiling for one year. But the CBO estimates such a repeal would add $8 billion to the deficit. Oops! Better luck next hostage crisis, guys.
So whatever the GOP wants you to “feel” about the ACA contributing to the deficit, it is wrong! If only Chuck Todd was some sort of “reporter” with a “platform” he could use to impart this “information” to “people.”
Of course we all know what Chuck Todd thinks about reporting facts. It’s not really his job, which leaves us all free to ignore any shit that spurts from his mouth hole. Thanks, Chuck. We’ll be sure to do just that.