According to the final CBO scores, the Affordable Care Act will reduce deficits by $138B in the first decade and by $1.2T in the second decade. It logically follows that repealing ACA, as some wingnuts are demanding, would increase deficits by the same amounts.
I’d love to see Henry Waxman file a straight repeal bill and get a CBO score on it. Then every Democratic candidate in November whose Republican opponent is running on a repeal platform can honestly say “According to the Congressional Budget Office, my opponent’s proposal would add one point three trillion dollars to the national debt. That’s ‘trillion,’ with a ‘t.’ Why does he want to leave our children and grandchildren saddled with that burden?”
As long as we’re arguing about whether the ACA was a good idea, the basic conservatism of the electorate (in the sense of reluctance to change, and greater willingness to believe bad news than good news) will be a drag on us. But as soon as we start talking about maintaining the ACA vs. getting rid of it, that flips over. After all, there’s a lot of motherhood and apple pie in the bill, and any proponent of straight repeal winds up being against a lot of stuff the voters are for and for a lot of stuff they’re against.
* “Why do you want to legalize discrimination against sick children by health insurance companies?”
* “Why do you want to increase taxes on small businesses that provide health insurance for employees?”
* “Why do you want to charge seniors more for prescription drugs?”
* “Why do you want to cut loan funds for nursing students?”
* “Why do you want to cut Medicare reimbursement for rural doctors?”
Logically, there’s no difference between supporting ACA and opposing repeal. Rhetorically, there’s all the difference in the world.