Heritage Foundation misleads on “Obamacare” (again)

An article by Alyene Senger on the Heritage Foundation website has a headline, prominent chart, and final paragraph that are all misleading on the cost of the Affordable Care Act.

The chart gives the impression that the Congressional Budget Office keeps revising its estimates of the cost of “Obamacare.” But as the fine print of the article itself makes clear, this is an apples-to-breadfruit comparison. The differing estimates cited are for differing 10-year periods and to some extent are computed in different ways. The numbers are therefore simply not directly comparable.

In fact, as Jonathan Bernstein has noted on The Washington Monthly website, if you look at cost forecasts for individual future years, they’ve varied very little. In fact, some projections have even come down.

Even Bernstein failed to note a misrepresentation in Senger’s final paragraph, which reads: “At a time when our nation is $16 trillion in debt and running annual trillion-dollar budget deficits, spending over $1.85 trillion on Obamacare’s new entitlements is beyond reckless.” That might seem sensible if you’re not aware that the same figures Senger cites show that the Affordable Care Act reduces the budget deficit.

Let me repeat that for emphasis: The very figures Senger cites show that the Affordable Care Act reduces the budget deficit. If you’re worried about deficits, it’s ridiculous to be against a law that reduces them (not to mention improving the health of the Medicare Trust Fund).

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