The Congressional Budget Office said in a recent letter that repealing the parts of the Affordable Care Act, including changes to Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, would increase the deficit by $455 billion. The CBO released the figure this week in a letter responding to a request from Republican Sen. Mike Crapo.
Throughout the health care debate Republicans and Democrats repeatedly asked CBO for estimates on how various provisions would add to or reduce the deficit, sometimes because they legitimately needed to know and sometimes because they were looking to score political points. (Public option proponents, for instance, were always eager for CBO estimates showing that a government-run plan would reduce the deficit. Those in favor of serious tort reform likewise were eager for CBO estimates showing such a move would do the same.) It’s not clear exactly what provisions in the new law Crapo was asking about in reference to repeal without the benefit of what he sent to CBO as a formal request. CBO says it can’t release Crapo’s correspondence and a spokeswoman for Crapo said the letter was not immediately available for distribution.
H/t to NPR’s dogged health care reporter Julie Rovner who posted a link to the CBO letter on Twitter along with quip: “Don’t ask questions you don’t want answered.”