The sky was supposed to fall, the country drowned in red ink with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, according to health reform’s harshest critics.
So far, neither of those things has occurred. In fact, things such as health care spending and inflation have improved in ways many did not anticipate. That is crucial because it takes pressure off the need to gut or drastically shrink entitlement programs such as Medicare. While more reform is still likely going to be needed, the changes can be absorbed better than we feared even a fear years ago if this recent trend continues. Also, it should be noted that an increase in federal revenue, i.e. tax dollars, is also partially responsible for the brightened mid-term outlook.
From a Vox.com analysis of the latest Congressional Budget Office report:
Take a gander at this amazing chart Louise Sheiner and Brendan Mochoruk made for the Brookings Institution based on CBO data:
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It highlights an amazing and under-covered change in federal budget policy, something that is a much bigger deal than recent declines in the short-term budget deficit. For years now, budget wonks have been warning that the real deficit problem is in the long-run, and it's driven by the cost of federal health care programs. What you're seeing on this chart is that those programs now look like they're going to be much cheaper than was previously believed.
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