CBO Director Rebukes Bachmann: Mandatory Health Spending Was Not Hidden

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and a small group of conservative House lawmakers are pushing House Republicans to go after all of the mandatory spending in the Affordable Care Act, claiming that Democrats snuck in $105 billion in hidden mandatory spending into the health care law. “This is something that wasn’t known,” Bachmann said on Meet The Press earlier this month. “This money was broken up, hidden in various parts of the bill.”

I’ve argued that this spending had been widely publicized during the health care debate and this morning, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf admitted that the information was, in fact, widely known:

REP. FRANK PALLONE (D-NJ): We considered a bill that would repeal funding for section 1311, the health insurance exchange planning and establishment grants. Did you know about that funding stream?

ELMENDORF: Yes, Congressman.

PALLONE: Okay, so it wasn’t hidden. What about section 4002, the prevention and public health fund. Did you know about that?

ELMENDORF: Yes, Congressman.

PALLONE: So that wasn’t hidden either. And what about funding for school based health centers? Did you know about that?

ELMENDORF: Yes, Congressman.

Watch it:

Bachmann is still fundraising off the “discovery,” however. “As I continue to fight against President Obama’s far-left agenda in Washington, the liberal left has stepped up their attacks against me,” Bachmann wrote in a March 29th email to constituents. “But, despite these attacks I am committed to…repealing Obamacare, and exposing government corruption like the $105 billion the Democrats appropriated toward funding Obamacare. This was a complete circumvention of the legislative process and I am working stop your tax dollars from being spent on an unconstitutional law.” “That’s why any amount you can donate to my campaign today – up to the $2,500 legal limit – is appreciated,” she added.