Note To GOP: Health Reform Will Help Country Avoid Hitting Debt Ceiling

Members of Congress are back in their districts for the August recess, and some are claiming victory in the final debt ceiling deal by tying the spending reductions in the agreement to the Affordable Care Act. The Hill’s Elise Viebeck reports:

In one of the first town hall meetings of the break, on the morning of Aug. 2, freshman Republican Rep. Rob Woodall (Ga.) told a group of Rotarians in Forsyth County that the final debt deal cut roughly the same amount of spending that the Affordable Care Act would have incurred — about $900 billion.

“So if you think about what’s small and what’s big, understand that … we’re going to have erased…the same price tag that was on the president’s healthcare bill over 10 years,” Woodall said, according to the Forsyth News.

It’s a strange comparison, particularly since the same people who scored the debt ceiling — the Congressional Budget Office — also found that health care reform law lowers the government’s deficit by $210 billion over 10 years. And that’s a point proponents of reform should be making as Republicans travel around their districts claiming that “you can’t talk about the debt unless you talk about healthcare, that’s just a fact.” Because they’re right. You can’t talk about debt without mentioning that health reform helped reduce it.