CBO Still Refuses to Score Obamacare, Ignores 15 Tax Hikes in Healthcare Law
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this week released their annual Budget and Economic Outlook which sets the budget baselines and estimates for the whole year.
Buried in Appendix B of the report is CBO's attempt to provide an updated score of Obamacare. But that's not what they did. They only scored the "coverage provisions" of the law, ignoring some fifteen tax increases which are also a part of Obamacare and its cost to taxpayers.
Here's what the report says about its half score:
"Those estimates address only the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA and do not reflect all of the act’s budgetary effects. Because the provisions of the ACA that relate to health insurance coverage established entirely new programs or components of programs and because those provisions have mostly just begun to be implemented,CBO and JCT have produced separate estimates of the effects of the provisions as part of the baseline process. By contrast, because the provisions of the ACA that do not relate directly to health insurance coverage generally modified existing federal programs (such as Medicare) or made various changes to the tax code, determining what would have happened since the enactment of the ACA had the law not been in effect is becoming increasingly difficult. The incremental budgetary effects of those noncoverage provisions are embedded in CBO’s baseline projections for those programs and tax revenues, respectively, but they cannot all be separately identified using the agency’s normal procedures. As a result, CBO does not produce estimates of the budgetary effects of the ACA as a whole as part of the baseline process."
List of tax hikes ignored in the CBO half-score of Obamacare
-3.8 percent surtax on investment income
-Hike in top Medicare payroll tax rate to 3.8 percent
-Medicine cabinet tax
-Additional surtax on health savings account (HSA) distributions
-Cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs)
-Medical device tax
-High medical bills tax
-Tax on employer retiree drug coverage in Medicare
-Charitable hospital tax
-Pharmaceutical manufacturers tax
-Health insurance tax
-Tax on executive compensation in the health sector
-"Black liquor" tax hike
-Codification of "economic substance doctrine"
All these tax increases can be read about in detail here.
All this is simply not credible. The Joint Tax Committee (JCT) produced all sorts of revenue estimates in the larger CBO report. JCT projects how much the death tax will collect each and every year for the next ten years, for example. It claims to know how much the federal government will collect in gas taxes. Is it believable that JCT could not also project how much a dozen or so Obamacare tax provisions will generate?