Long-term con: Obamacare was 'paid for' by nationalizing student loans | Washington Examiner
Category: News & PoliticsVia: texan1211 • 4 weeks ago • 8 comments
By: TPCarney (Washington Examiner)
It may be hard to recall these days when a Democratic White House proudly rejects any guiderails from things such as economics or the Constitution. But back in the Obama years, they considered themselves the wonks. And Obamacare was supposed to be the triumph of the wonks.
As the law aged, its rickety construction became clearer, which is why most of the top-tier Democratic presidential candidates in 2020 ran on replacing Obamacare. Among other problems, the bill's "pay-fors," the revenue enhancements that would supposedly dampen the law's effects on the deficit and on inflation, all evaporated.
More specifically, Democrats repealed them, showing that they never really intended for the bill to reduce healthcare spending or pay for itself.
The CLASS ACT was a Ted Kennedy brainchild, creating national long-term care insurance. Democrats included it in Obamacare, and it was actually called a revenue raiser — supposedly raising $87 billion over 10 years, because people would be paying premiums, and the benefits wouldn't go out the door until mostly after the 10-year window on which budget analyses are done.
It was a horrible idea, of course, and it was scrapped. That imaginary $87 billion in savings, however, was part of what allowed Obama and congressional Democrats to pretend the law was "paid for."
Another abandoned revenue raiser in Obamacare was an absurd and intrusive tax hike. The "1099 provision" would have forced freelancers to file 1099s for almost any business transaction, such as buying equipment or hiring a repairman. Congress repealed that awful provision.
Obamacare's Medical Device Tax was repealed. I wrote in 2013 about another false pay-for that Obama delayed: "Obamacare was supposed to save money by cutting Medicare Advantage spending — cuts would have become apparent last autumn. But the law also allowed HHS to run 'demonstration programs' in Medicare, experiments to find new ways to improve care and reduce costs. So, Obama used most of that 'demonstration program' money to postpone Medicare Advantage cuts until after the 2012 elections."
And now, yet another Obamacare "pay-for" has been gutted by Biden. Check out this video from back in the day:
Got it? By nationalizing the student lending industry, which previously had federal guarantees for private banks, Obamacare would raise $58 billion in revenue over a decade.
Some Democrats promised even more. "Part of the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 will make key changes to the student loan industry," Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) said. "This measure will save taxpayers nearly $70 billion over 10 years."
So to all the other ways in which this student loan bailout is objectionable, here is another one. It is yet another abandonment of the lies used to sell Obamacare. Of all the bogus claims that it paid for itself, this is only the latest to fall apart.