The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Sebelius Cracks! Admits the Obamacare Books Were Cooked! Admits to Double Counting Half Trillion Dollars!

Posted by iusbvision on March 4, 2011


Via Fox Nation:

The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee invited Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to swing by and have a little chin wag about the budgetary implications of ObamaCare. Representative John Shimkus (R-IL) noticed that the rather large sum of $500 billion was dedicated to both sustaining Medicare and funding ObamaCare. When he asked Sebelius which destiny awaited those five hundred billion clams, she replied, “Both.”

That’s right, folks: another part of the ObamaCare fraud involved double-counting half a trillion dollars. Shimkus said he was “shocked” to learn this. “We knew the health care law’s actual cost was much greater than originally told to the public,” he declared. “And now, the truth is slowly coming out in administration reports and testimony.”


4 Responses to “Sebelius Cracks! Admits the Obamacare Books Were Cooked! Admits to Double Counting Half Trillion Dollars!”

  1. […] Sebelius Cracks! Admits the Obamacare Books Were Cooked! Admits to Double Counting Half Trillion&nbs… […]

  2. nyp10025 said

    It is a little hard to get the thread of the dialogue since the Republican Congressman gives Ms. Sibelius so little time to respond and cuts her off, but she appears to be saying that reductions in the growth of the wasteful Medicare Advantage program cut the Medicare growth rate and thus extend the solvency of the fund. It is true that as an accounting matter under unified government accounting the full amount of trust fund savings cannot be counted towards the cost of funding healthreform. That is why the official CBO cost estimates for healthreform do no such thing. They don’t engage in any “double counting.” Even Representative Paul Ryan admits that:

    So the accusation about “double counting” goes to past Democratic political rhetoric, but has nothing to do with the official cost scoring of the healthcare reform law.

    Perhaps if the Congressman had given Ms. Sibelius enough time to explain that would have come out in the testimony. But getting the soundbite for use in the echo chamber was too important for that.

    P.S.: I very much doubt that Lenin ever said “the way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of inflation and taxation.” I think you made that up


    IUSB Vision Editor Responds:

    You did not watch the video or you are lying about its contents.

    Point 1 – The Republican Congressman didn’t cut her off. Each member of the committee has so many minutes of time and he warned her that he was short on time.

    Point 2 – You either did not read the article you linked carefully, or you are lying about it by pulling a bait & switch.

    Is Kathleen Sebelius the CBO? Answer = no. Sebelius is the HHS Secretary. There are several sets of numbers here. There are the Democrats CBO Numbers, the GOP’s CBO numbers, the White House Numbers and the Medicare Actuary numbers.

    In the video the Congressman is grilling the Administration represented by Sebelius if they are counting the numbers twice as the Medicare Actuary says, she admits it, and if you had taken the time to read your own link, both Ezra Klein and Paul Ryan agree that the administration is doing just that. I never claimed anything different.

    Point 3 – CBO numbers are either mostly irrelevant or completely irrelevant for the following reasons.

    CBO uses static Keynesian models which almost never pan out to anything even close to reality. Their estimate for the prescription drug plan cost was way under, their 20 year estimate for the cost of Medicaid was off by a factor of ten. Those same static models predicted revenue would drop after the Reagan tax cuts, instead they doubled, they predicted revenue would drop after the Bush tax cuts instead revenue went to record levels, CBO predicted a loss in revenue after the Clinton/Gingrich budget deal that drastically lowered the Capital Gains Tax Rate, instead revenue from the tax skyrocketed. I have dozens of examples of this.

    CBO also makes numbers based on the assumptions handed to them. If I am the Speaker of the House and I ask the CBO to produce me budget numbers assuming that the moon is made of green money and will send a trillion dollars a year in green money meteors they will do just that.

    Here is a more realistic example.

    Pelosi to CBO – Please make me an estimate of how much revenue the govt will bring in if we tax McDonalds Cookies $100 per box, based on their last year sales number of 1 million boxes sold.

    CBO – Based on that sales number as a model we conclude that the government will bring in $100 million dollars.

    GOP – we propose to only tax McDonalds cookies $1 dollar a box. That we we will generate more revenue.

    Nancy Pelosi to CBO – Based on the previous model, if the GOP only taxes those cookie boxes $1, how much money would the government lose based on the previous model?

    CBO – $99 million.

    Pelosi – the Republican plan will raise the deficit by 99 million dollars and the nonpartisan CBO says so.

    Of course no one will buy the cookies when taxed at $100, but many still would if taxed $1. So the GOP is right the lower tax will generate more revenue. Welcome to your first lesson into how the CBO works. The CBO will use any set of assumptions handed to them by Congress in the formula they use.

    Point 4 – Oh you doubt my Lenin quote, your precious Lenin. How touching. You seem to forget that there is this little thing called an internet search engine –

    Lucky that you do not have any content on your blog, because respectfully, all you have managed to do here is make yourself look rather silly and uninformed.

  3. nyp10025 said

    1. Your attack on the CBO simply demonstrates that healthreform is likely to cost the government less and save the taxpayers even more than CBO has estimated. As you note, CBO cost estimates tend to run quite conservative. For example, they overestimated the cost of the Medicare Part D program. And their cost/revenue estimates for healthreform deliberately ignore literally scores of cost-saving measures in the legislation because they are all new and have not been demonstrated to work. That has nothing whatsoever to do with a “static Keynensian model.” (And your oxymoronic use of such a term suggests to me that you ko not realize that supply side economics is a variant of Keynesian economics.) In any event, the overall accuracy of CBO macroeconomic forecasts between 1982 and 2007 is comparable to the “Blue Chip” consensus forcast of private forecasters. But, overall, I agree with you that the healthcare reforms will likely reduce the deficit by an even larger amount than CBO say they will do.

    2. There is no such thing as “Democrat CBO numbers” or “GOP CBO numbers.” There are only the CBO estimates. Those estimates, as Paul Ryan admitted, do not “double count” the Medicare budget reductions against both the deficit and the cost of health reform. They simply don’t. And those are the official cost estimates upon which health reform is based Now, it is possible that prior to the CBO scoring process some legislators spoke loosely about the Medicare advantage cuts reducing the Medicare overall costs. But I can’t find any such quotes. Nor have I found any such quotes from members of the Obama Administration. If you ever do so, please let us know, even though they are irrelevant to the actual CBO scoring.

    4. As for Ms. Sibelius, she was trying to say (before she was rudely cut off by the Republican Congressman who had devoted his entire question time to rhetorical posturing) that under conventional government budget accounting it is correct to say that cuts to Medicare advantage extend the solvency life of the Medicare trust fund while also saying that the cuts lover the overall deficit impact of health reform. But that is merely a accounting point, as her spokesman subsequently explained. The Administration has never claimed that those spending cuts would lower the deficit by the same amount by which they contribute to cost savings under health reform. Again, if you can find such evidence, please let us know. The key point is that the budgetary impact of health reform accepted in the legislation, by the administration and by CBO does not “double count”

    5. As of the Lenin quote — you have extracted it from the right-wing echo chamber without bothering to find an original citation. In precisely which of his writings did Lenin make that statement? Although it is possible that he said such a thing, I tend to doubt it.


    IUSB Vision Editor Responds:


    This is a typical example of the left. Outside of mindless denials and talking points he has nothing to say. Notice how he did not even go back and reexamine the link he posted which shows that I was correct.

    I gave him the means to find all the information he asked for, but like most leftists, he simply refuses delivery on any fact he may find inconvenient.

    As far as Democrat CBO numbers and GOP ones, it is time to enlighten you again. The Democrats can ask the CBO to draw up an estimate with a certain set of assumptions. And another time the GOP can ask the CBO to issue a report based on a separate set of assumptions. The following links provide examples of what I am talking about.

    This next link is very interesting – take the CBO guys unscripted, put them under oath with no “forced assumptions” and they tell you exactly the opposite of what Pelosi’s “official” CBO estimate says.

    The former CBO Director says that its numbers are “Fantasy in Fantasy Out” –

    Of course since you have already demonstrated that you ignore all facts you aren’t intellectually capable of dealing with or accepting, I won’t hold my breath for a substantive answer. You picked the wrong blogger to mess with. Maybe you should quit while you are behind? You could also go buy a few books over at Rose Hill Shopping Center :)

  4. nyp10025 said

    I really don’t have time to go through this guy’s blog posts from 2009 and correct all the errors. But here is the state of play with respect to his latest claim, that the health reform law is “fraudulently” based on “double-counting of half a trillion dollars”:
    1) We agree that he can’t find a single example of a democratic legislator, much less an administration official claiming that the $500 billion reduction in projected Medicare Advantage rate of growth will both reduce the projected Medicare deficit and count towards the scoring of the healthreform law. Not a single example
    2) We also agree that the official CBO estimates upon which the final health legislation are based do not in any way engage in the alleged “double-counting” of Medicare Advantage spending reductions.

    So the claim that the official estimate that healthcare reform will reduce the federal deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars in the first decade and by over a trillion dollars in the second decade is simply false. The official estimates have nothing whatsoever to do with so-called “double counting.”

    Now, the “vision editor” seems to have a general dislike of the actual CBO projection, but his attack is so vague that I really can’t respond to it. Tell us what is specifically wrong with the specific projections, and then I will try to respond.l


    IUSB Vision Editor Responds:

    It is not a dislike of a CBO projection, it is evidence that CBO projections are exactly as I described. I even included data from Amity Schleas and the former CBO director. It is obvious that like your own link, you wont read it or the ones I presented to you.

    As I stated, you have demonstrated that you are are emotionally incapable of dealing with verifiable facts and other reality that stand in conflict with your narrative.

    “You don’t have time to correct” – LOL I am sitting here laughing at you because not only have I refuted your claims, not only have I demonstrated that you do not read your own links, not only have I demonstrated that verifiable evidence doesn’t even register with you at all….. So what does all this mean? It either means you are either a nut job Kool-Aide drinker, the internet is full of them, or you are just a kid who is too immature to accept anything he doesn’t like, or you are simply trolling. So why should I present you with more evidence when you won’t read your own, or the evidence I presented to you so far?

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