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GOP’s Fuzzy Math: Super Committee Can Find Savings By Repealing Health Reform

By Igor Volsky on September 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm

"GOP’s Fuzzy Math: Super Committee Can Find Savings By Repealing Health Reform"

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Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) called on the super committee to lower the deficit by repealing the Affordable Care Act during a floor speech yesterday, arguing that it could “find the bulk of the $1.5 trillion in budget savings required under the recent deal to raise the federal debt ceiling by cutting back the programs created under last year’s healthcare law”:

“The Select Committee is getting to work, and I encourage both parties, all 12 members, to put the Affordable Care Act on the table, alongside other entitlements in need of reform,” he said on the House floor.

Burgess said other existing programs are on the table in the supercommittee, “so why shouldn’t new entitlements created by the Affordable Care Act be as well?” Burgess cast his proposal as an easy way to cut the deficit, since many of the programs under the law have not yet been implemented. “The Select Committee is getting to work, and I encourage both parties, all 12 members, to put the Affordable Care Act on the table, alongside other entitlements in need of reform,” he said on the House floor.

Burgess said other existing programs are on the table in the super committee, “so why shouldn’t new entitlements created by the Affordable Care Act be as well?” Burgess cast his proposal as an easy way to cut the deficit, since many of the programs under the law have not yet been implemented.

Burgess is certainly no fan of reform, but peeling back a measure that will lower the deficit over 10 years and slow the rate of growth in health care spending is particularly short sighted. If he wants to reduce how much the government spends on health services, then he should be offering a strong public option, a federal exchange, speeding up the delivery reforms, and a host of other cost containment initiatives that would actually save some money. Delaying coverage expansion isn’t fixing anything. It’s only kicking the health can down the road.

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