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Congressional Budget Office - Truth or Fiction?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
So, is the Congressional Budget Office a reliable source of accurate information regarding the financial forecasts of the Health Care Reform bill?

Or are they lying through their teeth?
Or are they a fraud?
post #2 of 23
The problem is that no one can predict and project into the future with any degree of accuracy that you can base current day decisions on, especially stuff as complex as the CBO is charged with estimating like this health care bill. It's simply not possible and to pretend that it is hubris of the highest order.

What can be done though is to predict how changes to the structure of things will broadly affect incentives for people. How doing something like putting a price cap (or floor) on some good or service is likely to affect the availability of that good or service. How reducing the cost (monetarily and otherwise) of something will affect the demand and consumption of that thing. And so on.

So lying? Fraudulent? I don't know about that? Fiction? Almost certainly.

What is fraudulent is politicians passing off their predictions of the future with certainty beyond a doubt. And the American public ought to know better than to believe anything they say.

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post #3 of 23
Their report didn't include any cost savings from the preventative care that will be available. So the real savings will be even more than expected, assuming that they've factored in things like the obesity epidemic.
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post #4 of 23
The CBO is completely credible. The issue isn't with the CBO but rather with the assumptions given to them by Congress. If Congress declared they were going to declare Social Security as income that would taxed at 100% then CBO would give them reasonable ramifications of that point. Everyone around CBO though would be noting that it wouldn't be politically acceptable for anyone to tax away all of everyone's Social Security income but CBO would give the results in as accurate a manner as can be forecast.

To apply this to the health care debate, many of Obama's tax increases don't take effect until several years from now and the same is true of the benefits. The clearest example of this is the "Cadillac tax" doesn't take effect until 2018. Can CBO give a good and impartial number about that tax as is possible predicting 8 years out? I believe they can and do.

The reality though is that it isn't responsible to presume someone will enact a tax for you that you wouldn't enact yourself and will do so 2-6 years after you have left office. Again we aren't talking about something you put in place, set an expiration date on and challenge someone to remove it. The Bush tax cuts did that. They started during his term and while they continued on past his term, the reality is they could have been revoked. In this case though Obama isn't even starting the tax to collect the revenue. He is leaving it for future administrations to enact, not remove.

Another example is that in 2014 eligibility for Medicaid to 133% of the poverty rate. Do you really think it is politically likely that they will throw thousands of people, people who are at 100% of the poverty rate and throw them off Medicaid? Again CBO can run the numbers, but is it likely?

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

Their report didn't include any cost savings from the preventative care that will be available. So the real savings will be even more than expected, assuming that they've factored in things like the obesity epidemic.

Don't doctors CHARGE MONEY to perform preventive care stuff? (I know mine does.)
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post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Another example is that in 2014 eligibility for Medicaid to 133% of the poverty rate. Do you really think it is politically likely that they will throw thousands of people, people who are at 100% of the poverty rate and throw them off Medicaid? Again CBO can run the numbers, but is it likely?

Um... I think you didn't understand that the increase from 100% to 133% will add people to Medicaid who were previously ineligible, not the other way around. People at 100% will still qualify. People who were at 120% and didn't qualify before will qualify when this goes into effect.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

Don't doctors CHARGE MONEY to perform preventive care stuff? (I know mine does.)

And so do dentists. But the point is that a lifetime of annual checkups at your dentist and avoidance of rotten teeth will cost less in the long run than the extractions, root canals, bridges and dentures you would have if you didn't go.

Likewise lifetime medical checkups will reduce costs due to emergency surgeries, cancer and heart disease. The overall effect is not only a benefit to overall health, but a cost savings as well.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Um... I think you didn't understand that the increase from 100% to 133% will add people to Medicaid who were previously ineligible, not the other way around. People at 100% will still qualify. People who were at 120% and didn't qualify before will qualify when this goes into effect.

You are 100% right there Tonton. That was a total brain fart on my part. Thanks for the correction.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #9 of 23
The CBO estimated the bill to be "budget neutral"

That just means the estimated tax increases will offset the estimated costs.

This bill was a HUGE tax increase.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taskiss View Post

The CBO estimated the bill to be "budget neutral"

That just means the estimated tax increases will offset the estimated costs.

This bill was a HUGE tax increase.

What proof of that do you have? Obama's tax policy is geered to give roughly 95% of Americans tax cuts. His tax cuts cut of $282 billion for the first two years of his term are by far the biggest tax cuts ever. Bush's tax cuts swere $174 billion followed by a second batch in 2004 and 2005 totalling $231 billion.

The vast majority of American's will be better off under Obama. The top 5% are going to take a hit with increased taxes, but their wealth has hugely increased over the last 20 years whilst most Americans have stayed virtually flat and many have seen a reduced income.
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post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

The vast majority of American's will be better off under Obama.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

What proof of that do you have?

Do tell.

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post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

Their report didn't include any cost savings from the preventative care that will be available. So the real savings will be even more than expected, assuming that they've factored in things like the obesity epidemic.

Yes, #71 on the list Democratic talking points.

People are not magically going to be healthier under Obamacare. Preventative medicine is more about lifestyle and individual choice. People aren't going to start going to the doctor to get their cholesterol checked just because they bought the government mandated insurance. People that don't get preventive care now because they don't have insurance will STILL not have insurance. Thanks to the ban on denying those with pre-existing conditions, they will simply wait until they get sick to get health insurance. Why? Because the fine they pay will be about $700 a year. Basic insurance might be $3000. That's right folks...Obamacare will result in less, not more preventative medicine.

And even if the above were not true, who will be saving money? The government? How can this be...the bill costs a freaking TRILLION DOLLARS. It's amazing that after years of arguing that tax cuts don't pay for themselves, liberals are now arguing that healthcare does.
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post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

What proof of that do you have? Obama's tax policy is geered to give roughly 95% of Americans tax cuts. His tax cuts cut of $282 billion for the first two years of his term are by far the biggest tax cuts ever. Bush's tax cuts swere $174 billion followed by a second batch in 2004 and 2005 totalling $231 billion.

The vast majority of American's will be better off under Obama. The top 5% are going to take a hit with increased taxes, but their wealth has hugely increased over the last 20 years whilst most Americans have stayed virtually flat and many have seen a reduced income.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2220951920100322
Quote:
FACTBOX-Major tax provisions in U.S. healthcare bill
Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:50pm EDT

March 22 (Reuters) - The U.S. healthcare overhaul that President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law contains about $438 billion in revenue increases over the next decade.
post #14 of 23
Quote:

Which is ~$44B/Y, which is much less than either B's or O's tax cuts as Hands already mentioned.

Are you Locked and Loaded? I know I am not Locked and Loaded.

I can't wait for the Bush tax cuts on the most wealthy to expire. Can't happen soon enough, as in immediately if not sooner.
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post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

Their report didn't include any cost savings from the preventative care that will be available. So the real savings will be even more than expected, assuming that they've factored in things like the obesity epidemic.

Nonsense. Preventive care has never come through as a significant saver of money. Some say it can cost more than it saves. When you start chasing down border line blood pressure, high cholesterol, faint hint on a mammogram ...
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

And so do dentists. But the point is that a lifetime of annual checkups at your dentist and avoidance of rotten teeth will cost less in the long run than the extractions, root canals, bridges and dentures you would have if you didn't go.

Likewise lifetime medical checkups will reduce costs due to emergency surgeries, cancer and heart disease. The overall effect is not only a benefit to overall health, but a cost savings as well.

Preventive care is not just check ups. It's all the cholesterol, high blood pressure, hormone replacements, thyroid drugs. Not to mention blood screening, x-rays, biopsies, smoking counseling ...

It's the right thing to do but it's not clear that it saves money.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

Preventive care is not just check ups. It's all the cholesterol, high blood pressure, hormone replacements, thyroid drugs. Not to mention blood screening, x-rays, biopsies, smoking counseling ...

It's the right thing to do but it's not clear that it saves money.

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Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

Preventive care is not just check ups. It's all the cholesterol, high blood pressure, hormone replacements, thyroid drugs. Not to mention blood screening, x-rays, biopsies, smoking counseling ...

It's the right thing to do but it's not clear that it saves money.

No, preventive care IS just checkups... when that checkup reveals high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, or the need for hormone therapy or thyroid meds, then it's no longer preventive medicine... you're now treating a medical condition.
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post #19 of 23
75% of the healthcare costs in the US are from treating preventable diseases. Obviously that picture isn't going to change over night. However, many people have had to pay a high deductible costing $1,000, $2,000 or even $5,000 who are often the one's with the least income, to get preventative care. Therefore even those with insurance will often not get a colonoscopy. Now that colonoscopy has to be free as part of their insurance. That will mean that more people will get preventative care who wouldn't have otherwise.
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post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

No, preventive care IS just checkups... when that checkup reveals high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, or the need for hormone therapy or thyroid meds, then it's no longer preventive medicine... you're now treating a medical condition.

You are completely wrong. Go read up on the subject and then post back when you have something worth while to add.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

You are completely wrong. Go read up on the subject and then post back when you have something worth while to add.

No, you are completely wrong. Go read up on the subject and then post back when you have something worth while to add.
Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

No, you are completely wrong. Go read up on the subject and then post back when you have something worth while to add.

No you are wrong, infinity. So there.

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

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post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

no you are wrong, infinity. So there.

^ ftw
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