Hardin Wells’ letter of Nov. 3 (“Stop Misleading Louisianians”) is a useful summary of many of the myths being spread about the Affordable Care Act. It reflects the sad fact that many Americans now live in an information bubble provided by partisan media.
His assertion that, “The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) acknowledges Obamacare will significantly add to our deficit, not reduce it” can be easily checked and disproven.
The CBO’s 2011 report estimated the ACA would reduce the deficit by $210 billion by 2021. In its most recent update (May 2013), the CBO noted that little had changed in its projections for the cost of the ACA, though the numbers for different provisions have shifted.
The May report states the “legislation includes many other provisions that, on net, will reduce budget deficits. Taking the coverage provisions and other provisions together, CBO and JCT have estimated that the ACA will reduce deficits over the next 10 years and in the subsequent decade.” Furthermore, the CBO has clearly stated (July 2012) that repeal of the ACA would add $109 billion to the deficit by 2022.
Regarding Mr. Wells’ second point, that many will still be left uninsured under Obamacare, it should be remembered that the ACA was never designed to cover all the uninsured.
The CBO (May 2013) report estimates that the ACA will have covered 25 million by 2023, with about 31 million uninsured remaining. But decreasing the overall number of uninsured by 25 million will be a significant accomplishment.
Similarly, had Gov. Jindal’s accepted the Medicaid expansion provided by the ACA, Louisiana could have significantly reduced the number of uninsured people in our state (most of them the “working poor”).
If Mr. Wells wants more Americans covered, he should support an expanded ACA.
George Bishop, Jr.
writer and teacher