White House derides healthcare study

April 10, 2012 at 1:07 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 10 (UPI) -- A report saying the new healthcare law will add $340 billion to the deficit was derided as "faulty analysis" by the White House Tuesday.

The study by Charles Blahous, who promoted the privatization of Social Security while serving as special assistant for economic policy in the George W. Bush administration, says the "double counting" in Medicare savings hides the true cost of the law. In a blog post about the study, he said the Affordable Care Act "has seriously worsened a federal fiscal outlook that was already untenable over the long term."

The issue revolves around whether Medicare savings, under the Affordable Care Act, can be used to strengthen Medicare's long-term outlook, referred to as "double counting," the congressional newspaper The Hill said Tuesday.

Jeanette Lambrew, President Obama's deputy assistant for health policy, derided the report as "another brand of 'new math'" in a White House blog post, saying the claim "fits the old pattern of mischaracterizations about the Affordable Care Act when official estimates show the healthcare law reduces the deficit."

Aboard Air Force One Tuesday, presidential press secretary Jay Carney referred to Blahous' report as "obviously a partisan analysis," saying "We do not agree with the faulty analysis of a Bush administration national economic council member," pointing out estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget indicate "the Affordable Care Act would reduce the deficit over the first 10 years and dramatically over the next 10 years."

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