Sour Grapes

We now return to our favorite sport—fisking the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board.
This time, it’s Peter Jensen’s laughable screed against the new GOP majority in the House of Representatives attempt to repeal Obamacare.

Jensen claims that the “biggest obstacle” to repeal is the American people. Of course, by “American people” Jensen really means petulant liberals like himself still upset over November’s election results.

In fact, most of the American people support repeal of Obamacare. The latest polling data from Rasmussen puts support for repeal at 60%. Since March 2010 support for repeal has ranged from 50%-63%.

Jensen asks, “How will people react to their health coverage being threatened for partisan purposes?”

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That’s a great question, but Jensen asks it in the wrong direction. Contrary to Obama’s assertion that under his plan that if you like your health plan you can keep it, Obamacare may indeed cause people to lose their current insurance. McDonalds warned federal regulators that the new law could force it to drop it’s mini-med plans for it’s 30,000 restaurant workers. Even before Obama uncapped the pen to sign the bill into law companies like Verizon, Caterpillar and Medtronic warned that Obamacare would impose massive increases to their health insurance costs and lead to layoffs.

Sure, some facets of Obamacare may be popular, like parents keeping their children on their plans up to the age of 26. However, Jensen acts as if there is no cost involved. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that particular regulation will cost $3,380 per dependent.

If that wasn’t enough, Jensen does his best Ricky Henderson impersonation by trying to re-steal the same base Obama and the Democrats did by arguing that Obamacare reduces the deficit.

As the Congressional Budget Office noted, health care reform cuts the deficit by billions of dollars while simultaneously expanding insurance coverage to millions of Americans who are currently uninsured.

But as we all know—well except for Jensen—this claim is based on a dubious double counting. According to Medicare’s Chief Actuary, Richard Foster:

In practice the improved (Medicare hospital insurance) financing cannot be simultaneously used to finance other Federal outlays (such as the coverage expansions) and to extend the trust fund, despite the appearance of this result from the respective accounting conventions.

(Hat tip to Peter Suderman)

Here’s Paul Ryan saying the same thing straight to Obama.

Jensen criticizes Republicans for not recognizing that “a complex problem that requires a complex solution.” Yet he can’t recognize the simple fact that you can’t simultaneously cut the deficit while adding trillions of dollars in spending.

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