Health Reform All Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go - the Best Life
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is the closest thing Washington has to an official scorekeeper of government finances. Its regular budget reports are waved aloft by Republicans and Democrats alike, usually to cite some numbers (often out of context) to prove a point. Thus it’s been with the CBO’s excruciatingly fair-minded reports on Obamacare.
When the CBO evaluates the budget impact of a piece of legislation, the process is known as “scoring.” During the contentious debate over the law in 2009 and 2010, the CBO’s scoring efforts carried a lot of weight. The agency concluded the law would not make federal deficits worse, but actually lower them over time. There were howls, as there always are over CBO findings from those who disagree with them. And the agency does have to adhere to some rules for evaluating budget issues that don’t make sense in the real world. But the CBO is largely viewed as an honest broker in what are devilishly complex matters.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision in June upheld the law’s constitutionality. While the court upheld the law, it freed states from compliance with one of its major provisions—an extensive expansion of Medicaid to pay for health services to millions of low-income Americans without health insurance.
The states are free to either accept the ACA’s Medicaid expansion or keep their programs pretty much as-is without facing any penalties from Washington bureaucrats. Many states, mostly those led by anti-Obamacare Republican governors, have either told the feds to take a hike or are sitting out the decision until after the November election.