Repealing the Affordable Care Act Increases The Deficit

Today the CBO announced that HR 2, the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” will increase the budget deficit considerably. This should come as no surprise to those of us who recall that the CBO said passing the Affordable Care Act would reduce the deficit.

The confusing part here is the conservative take. They complained that claims about the deficit-reducing powers of the ACA were disingenuous because repeal of the deficit-reducing elements was likely. Well, maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t. But if that’s your argument, then it follows that repealing the deficit reducing elements of the ACA will increase the deficit. What’s more, repealing the entire ACA necessarily entails repealing the deficit-reducing elements of the ACA. Ergo, ACA repeal increases the deficit even according to the bizarro world math in which passing it in the first place didn’t reduce the deficit.

Obviously the fact that neither conservative politicians or voters care about long-term deficit reduction isn’t news. But still!