The Congressional Budget Office reports that if health-care reform is repealed the federal deficit will be raised by about $230 billion over the next decade and leave 32 million more Americans uninsured. The report also says most Americans would pay more for private health insurance. The 10-page forecast is now in the hands of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who immediately dismissed it.
Congressional Democrats and their allies have seized the budget analysts' prediction. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., says we can't afford to increase the deficit by nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars, especially with the very first substantive vote of the 112th Congress. With equal speed, Boehner and other House Republicans said the analysts relied on flawed assumptions.
Meanwhile, Harvard health economist David Cutler is releasing a paper predicting harmful effects of repealing the law on health insurance prices and on jobs. The heart of the law takes effect in 2014 and, for the first time, most people will be required to carry health insurance.