Republican Bill Would Require Annual CBO Analysis of PPACA

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has introduced legislation meant to increase budget transparency by requiring the Congressional Budget Office to report annually on costs and revenues related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The bill, titled the Truth in Obamacare Accounting Act, would require the CBO to provide a "full and complete accounting of the costs and revenues associated with Obamacare" on an ongoing basis, according to a news release.

Sen. Johnson introduced the bill in the midst of media attention surrounding a previously overlooked footnote in an April CBO report stating it's no longer possible to assess the economic impact of PPACA provisions not related to health insurance coverage expansion. The footnote states: "The provisions that expand insurance coverage established entirely new programs or components of programs that can be isolated and reassessed. In contrast, other provisions of the [PPACA] significantly modified existing federal programs and made changes to the Internal Revenue Code. Isolating the incremental effects of those provisions on previously existing programs and revenues four years after enactment of the [PPACA] is not possible."

Some researchers have raised concerns that the CBO's decision to stop assessing the budgetary impact of all of the law's components will make it unclear whether the PPACA is actually reducing the federal deficit, in addition to shrinking the uninsured population.

"News this week has highlighted a real problem in how Congress accounts for this huge expansion of government healthcare spending," Sen. Johnson said in the release.  "CBO undoubtedly faces considerable challenges in separating the impact of the law from some of the other programs that interact with it, but it can and should be able to estimate those costs and impacts so that Congress and the American people understand the true scope of financial harm that Obamacare is causing."

More Articles on the Congressional Budget Office:
CBO Lowers Estimate of Uninsured Who Will Pay PPACA Penalty: 5 Things to Know
CBO to Stop Measuring PPACA Budgetary Impact: 5 Things to Know  
22 Leaders on the CBO's Panel of Health Advisers 

 

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