You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Red Sox Live

2

3

▲  2nd Inning 2 outs

editorial | obama’s health overhaul

Health-care reform is no budget-buster

THE LATEST attack on the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, is the claim that its long-term cost has suddenly spiked from around $1 trillion to $1.7 trillion. Because the new figure is plucked from a March Congressional Budget Office estimate, opponents of the law contend that the agency’s analysis shows it will be a budgetary disaster.

But as with so many assertions by critics of Obamacare, this one is misleading. Or as the CBO puts it: “Some of the commentary . . . has suggested that CBO and [the Joint Committee on Taxation] have changed their estimates of the effects of the ACA to a significant degree. That’s not our perspective.’’

Continue reading below

In this case, the increase comes because the CBO added 2022, a year with substantial outlays, to its long-term projection. But $1.7 trillion over 10 years isn’t the bill’s net cost to taxpayers; rather, it’s all the outlays for the coverage provisions, without taking into consideration the cost savings to Medicare and new tax revenues in the bill. When those are factored in, the bill more than pays for itself - a fact that the latest estimates confirm.

CBO has previously estimated that, overall, health care reform will reduce the federal deficit, and that conclusion hasn’t changed. Here’s what has: The agency’s March analysis says the law will shave an additional $48 billion off the deficit between 2012 and 2021. And that bottom-line point is the one that any honest commentary about CBO’s new numbers should underline. It does no good for die-hard opponents to seize on any number, at any time, to illustrate their unsupported view that the bill is a budget-buster.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.