CBO: Republicans and Right-Wing Media Spreading Falsehoods on ACA Costs

If you only got your news from the right-wing media, you might think the Congressional Budget Office’s report last week on the Affordable Care Act meant that the bill cost more than it was originally expected to — a lot more. But the fact is, and as Talking Points Memo pointed out last week, the GOP and their media machine has grossly distorted the facts:

CBO still holds that the law reduces the deficit by billions of dollars over 10 years. That’s just not in this report.

The CBO doesn’t often call politicians and pundits out when they purposefully misinterpret what the office says. The office is tasked with providing completely non-partisan information and research to Congress, and doesn’t involve itself in the political spin machine. That’s why when it posts this on its blog

Some of the commentary on those reports has suggested that CBO and JCT have changed their estimates of the effects of the ACA to a significant degree. That’s not our perspective…

it is kind of a big deal.

“That’s not our perspective” might sound like weak language, but in reality it’s about as tough as the CBO gets when calling out politicians and the media about distortions to the office’s research.

The GOP is distorting the facts by doing two things: not being clear that the 10-year period in question has changed, and not including cost savings. Since many of the provisions of the ACA don’t come into effect until 2014, the costs over a 10-year period beginning in 2010 and a ten year period beginning in 2012 are of course going to be different. Not only that, the GOP is essentially ignoring one half of the balance sheet, not counting any of the costs saving that are in place under the ACA.

Surprised, anyone?