At least one member of Governor Sununu’s staff is claiming that the Alexander-Murray bill, which restores the Obamacare “CSR” payments that President Trump recently ended, reduces the deficit:CSR -Cost Sharing Reduction- payments are a euphemism for the federal government forcing taxpayers to reimburse insurance companies for losses incurred as a result of Obamacare requiring insurers to charge lower premiums and/or deductibles to lower-income insureds.
As HotAir has explained, CBO basically “cooked the books” in order to claim Alexander-Murray reduces the deficit. More specifically, CBO compared spending under Alexander-Murray to spending under Obamacare assuming that Trump would make “CSR” payments. That is a ridiculous assumption, obviously, because Trump has stopped making CSR payments on the grounds that they are not legal because Congress never appropriated the funding.
Even the cost savings are more or less reliant on the status quo. Earlier this year, the CBO projected the costs of the CSR payments to reach $7 billion this year, and escalating to $16 billion in 2017. Congress has not appropriated funds for the program since 2014, but the Obama administration paid them anyway, as did the Trump administration until this month. The $3.8 billion in savings for Alexander-Murray results from CBO counting this money as already outgoing rather than as new spending. Given that the purpose of Alexander-Murray was to provide new funding for CSRs now that the White House has refused to spend money that Congress has not appropriated, that is a very, veryquestionable scoring decision.
So Alexander-Murray is hardly a “fiscally conservative health care solution.”