How Much Would It Cost to Repeal Health Care Reform?

| Tue Jan. 4, 2011 8:40 AM PST

Republicans have released their health-care repeal bill—snappily titled "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act"—which the party has now scheduled for a vote on January 12. The bill would repeal every part of the Affordable Care Act except for an overhaul of the student loan industry.

One thing the bill won't include, however, is a price tag. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that health care reform would save an estimated $143 billion over the next 10 years. According to that figure, repealing the law would add the same amount to the deficit. Republicans, however, have dismissed the CBO's estimates, arguing that Democrats have gamed the number by front-loading the legislation with savings in the first decade and that the law would cost taxpayers in the long run. As a result, they've refused to let the CBO score their repeal bill.

Democrats, in the meantime, have backed off their line that health care reform will save the country money—not because of the substance of their argument, but  because it hasn't proven politically popular with voters, according to Politico. So Democrats have basically conceded that Republicans have won the message war when it comes to the price tag of health reform, and taxpayers have little way of confirming exactly how much the GOP repeal effort could end up costing them.

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