Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is following the lead of his Republican counterparts in the House and calling on Democrats to cut Obamacare as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations, despite the law’s ability to reduce the deficit and lower the rate of growth in health care spending.
Speaking on the Senate floor on Tuesday morning, McConnell said Democrats must embrace changes to entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid and insisted that the Affordable Care Act should also be on the table:
McCONNELL: And as Congress looks for savings, we need to look at the new health care entitlements too. While Democrats and Republicans may disagree on Obamacare, it’s ridiculous to suggest that we make changes to Medicare and Medicaid, while leaving $1.6 trillion in Obamacare spending untouched.
But repealing or significantly scaling back Obamacare doesn’t make any sense: the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the law reduces the deficit by billions in the next decade and by over $1 trillion in the decade after that. Its cost control mechanisms — the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), the excise tax on high-cost plans, and savings to Medicare — are also projected to lower health care spending.