Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) released the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, legislation which merged the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s bill with the Finance Committee’s bill. According to preliminary analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the joint legislation will cost $848 billion over 10 years and reduce the deficit by $130 billion over 10 years. This morning on Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy added the gross total cost of the coverage provisions to the amount by which the bill would reduce the federal budget deficit ($130 billion, but Doocy used an earlier estimate of $127 billion) to argue that the bill would cost taxpayers “close to a trillion dollars.” Watch it:
While expanding coverage to 31 million Americans would cost $848 billion over 10 years, the cost of these coverage expansions would be more than offset by a combination of new revenue and spending changes. After the $848 billion is paid off, the bill invests the remainder — $130 billion — into deficit reduction. Doocy is double-counting the cost of the bill to taxpayers. Imagine the following scenario: you drive to the supermarket and purchase a gallon of $10 laundry detergent with a $20 bill. According to Doocy’s logic, the cost of your detergent is not $10, but rather $30!