John on March 10, 2010 at 10:54 pm
Megan McArdle tries to inject a little common sense into the over-reliance on CBO numbers:
Proponents of reform have been acting as if the fact that various Democrat plans have been scored by the Congressional Budget Office as “deficit neutral” somehow means that they couldn’t possibly be worse than the status quo. This is extraordinarily wishful thinking.
If the cost controls fail, we aren’t just right back where we started: we’re much, much worse off. As you may have noticed, broad-based entitlements are nearly impossible to cut, much less repeal, which is why so many progressives are willing to sacrifice the current majority on the pyre of national health care. So there’s a not-insignificant chance that we’ll end up with a broad-based entitlement that we can’t cut and can’t pay for. Hello, budget crisis.
Obviously calling the chance “not insignificant” is being very kind. The history of entitlements and the recent experience of Massachusetts with a very similar system all suggest the costs will be much greater than predicted. Proponents of the bill, like Ezra Klein, continue to harp on the CBO numbers even though they also know the chances are excellent the savings will not come to pass.
Progressives love to roll the dice with other people’s money.
Related: I made this clip 10 months ago and, sadly, it’s still relevant:
Category: Health & Education |