Obama's double counting of savings in Obamacare

I thought that this was well-known, but it is good to see this issue being raised again.

It was only a few minutes in the making but comments last week by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Capitol Hill have set off a firestorm of criticism around President Obamas health care law and how the law, when its finally implemented, will have double counted on Medicare -- and, therefore, does not have the savings once predicted by the White House.

The Affordable Care Act adds 12 years to the Medicare trust fund, according to every actuary, and the $500 billion represents a slowdown in the growth rate of Medicare over 10 years from what was projected at 8 percent to a growth rate, Sebelius said during questioning by Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill.

But, as Shimkus pushed the issue, asking for Sebelius to explain if the president was using the $500 billion to save Medicare or fund health care reform, Sebelius added one word both. And that word has made many more nervous than ever about the health care law, as they say it sounds like double counting, or using money from one program to count into another, which does not equal savings. . . .

The idea of complaining about a double count is not new to the White House. In March 2010, "Special Report" anchor Bret Baier specifically questioned Obama about the issue.

Obama at the time made it clear there was no robbing Peter to pay Paul in the health care legislation.

"You can't say that you are saving on Medicare, and then spend the money twice," Obama said.What you can say is that we are going to take the savings, put them back to make sure that seniors are getting help on the prescription drug bill instead of that money going to, for example, insurance reform. . . .

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