Gosh, you mean there's a good reason Obamacare is so complicated?
Economists are supposed to be more nuanced than politicians. Casey Mulligan, new hero to the anti-Obamacare right, hasn't been.
From the annals of “is this good news or bad news?”, today comes a new CBO report predicting that immigration reform as passed by the Senate will reduce illegal border crossings by one-third to one-half. That’s up from its previous estimate, that the bill would only reduce them by a quarter.
Critics of the Affordable Care Act keep insisting that the law will increase the deficit. But the best evidence we have, from the most trusted authorities we have, suggests that those critics are wrong – and that the law, if anything, will reduce the deficit. I know that many people find that difficult to believe. But, really, it’s neither complicated nor far-fetched. The law spends a lot of money, in order to make Medicaid available to more people and to provide subsidies for lower- and middle-income Americans buying private insurance.
Republican pollsters have found that, to whatever degree people are upset about the Affordable Care Act, it is primarily a function of economic conditions rather than ideological opposition to the concept of the law. They accordingly have done everything to frame their opposition in terms of jobs, including titling their repeal bill the "Repealing The Job-Killing Health Care Law Act." Yesterday, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf testified before the House Budget Committee, and confirmed his agency's finding that the Affordable Care Act would, very slightly, reduce employment levels.
With the House Republicans planning a Wednesday vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act, I’m going to go back through some of their arguments over the next few days.
Ben Bernanke's “unusually uncertain” may be for our times what Alan Greenspan’s “irrational exuberance” was to the late 1990s—a phrase that captures the dominant mood without providing much policy guidance. As dissent continued to rise in the ranks of the usually united Federal Reserve Board, unusual uncertainty reigned supreme at the annual Jackson Hole meeting.
This is the fourth of a five-part series explaining, in remarkable detail, how Obama and the Democrats came to pass health care reform. (Click here to read parts one, two, and three.) Be sure to come back tomorrow for the final installment, which reveals how the White House decided not to drop health care reform in the wake of Scott Brown's victory, and what Nancy Pelosi did to broker the final deal. Reset Barack Obama, the law professor, was acting like a prosecutor. He’d invited Grassley to the Oval Office, to talk about the senator’s concerns.
Conservatives have been claiming that a new report by the Congressional Budget Office shows that the Affordable Care Act will cost $115 billion more than estimated, because of discretionary budget costs. (That refers to money Congress appropriates every year to run agencies, as opposed to checks the government writes for benefits.) Megan McArdle leaps all over this: The progressive response on this, as I understand it, is threefold: 1. We don't have to fund this stuff 2. Maybe we'll cut something else to fund this stuff 3.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama executed his well-advertised double pivot toward job generation and fiscal restraint. Almost lost in the pundits' babble was the release of a CBO report, “The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2010 to 2020,” coupled with CBO director Doug Elmendorf’s testimony to the House and Senate budget committees. CBO’s analysis makes it clear just how daunting the employment and fiscal challenges are over the next decade . . .