Myths/Obamacare/is a luxury we can't afford

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Myth: Obamacare is a luxury we can't afford.


The argument seems to be that when the economy is tough, we should spend less money. Therefore Obamacare -- which must be expensive, right? -- is something we can't afford right now.


Leaving aside the austerity myth, this argument is based on several bits of misinformation and misperception – the most obvious of which is that Obamacare is expensive and will increase the deficit.

The CBO Analysis

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the legislation would reduce the deficit by $143 billion over the first decade and by $1.2 trillion in the second decade.

Repeat: Obamacare decreases the deficit. If you repeal it, you increase the deficit.

If you don't believe the CBO's analysis, who do you believe -- and why? Have they explained how the CBO's analysis is wrong?

Even assuming that the CBO estimate is somehow inaccurate, if the GOP would just be willing to reinstate Reagan-era tax rates for those who can afford a little extra -- you know, that top 1% of earners who just got their tax cuts extended by that "socialist", Obama -- any possible underestimate of the cost would be taken care of.

Additional Effects

The CBO analysis doesn't even take into account the expected economic benefits from having a healthier population -- a kind of "trickle down" that actually works, unlike the Bush tax cuts.

Even if your sole interest is seeing the insurance companies profit, Obamacare fills that need too: Forbes magazine has observed that insurance companies are seeing a boom in new policies, including many from small businesses which previously hadn't been able to offer insurance to their employees.

Gee, large and small businesses benefiting -- isn't that what Republicans are supposed to be in favor of?


  • 2011-01-22 FirstFocus reports that "A worst-case scenario [for the impact of the Affordable Care Act on state budgets] will thus see states realizing net budgetary savings of $40.6 billion during 2014-2019. In a best-case scenario, those gains will reach $131.9 billion."


This was adapted from the HypertWiki.