Here is the relevant portion of the two-page MEMO, released by the CBO on December 23rd, with the even more relevant excerpts bolded.
The key point is that the savings to the HI trust fund under the PPACA would be received by the government only once, so they cannot be set aside to pay for future Medicare spending and, at the same time, pay for current spending on other parts of the legislation or on other programs. Trust fund accounting shows the magnitude of the savings within the trust fund, and those savings indeed improve the solvency of that fund; however, that accounting ignores the burden that would be faced by the rest of the government later in redeeming the bonds held by the trust fund. Unified budget accounting shows that the majority of the HI trust fund savings would be used to pay for other spending under the PPACA and would not enhance the ability of the government to redeem the bonds credited to the trust fund to pay for future Medicare benefits. To describe the full amount of HI trust fund savings as both improving the government’s ability to pay future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare would essentially double-count a large share of those savings and thus overstate the improvement in the government’s fiscal position.Now for the Video. Republican senators Jeff Sessions (AL), John Kyl (AZ), and Judd Gregg (NH) were visibly disturbed by the blatant attempt by the Democrats to lie in order to get this monstrosity passed, with Sessions actually making the accusation that if this was corporate America, someone would be going to Jail. The video is a little lengthy but very much worth watching.
Unfortunately, the CBO memo didn't come out until Wednesday, the 23rd. Thanks to Nebraska senator Ben Nelson's sellout, the vote to end cloture took place two days earlier at 1am so this CBO report was basically rendered inconsequential in terms of the Senate version of the bill passing.
Phillip Klein has been writing about this as well. In reference to the Democrats continuing to claim budget savings, Klein ended one ARTICLE this way:
Similar comments have been echoed by Democrats during the several weeks that the Senate has been debating health care -- it would have been nice to have the CBO memo back when it could have actually made a difference.For some reason, I can't help wondering if that one-on-one meeting between Obama and CBO Director Doug Elmendorf back in July had anything to do with the delay between the Democrats getting 60 votes and the CBO reporting the truth. Elmendorf gets to go on record as having reported the truth about the costs and the bill still gets rammed through.
Remember THIS? When you watch this video, fast forward to the three-minute mark to watch the part about Elmendorf and the CBO.
h/t to SAY ANYTHING