KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

The White House Reacts To Claim That Health Law Would Add To Deficit

The White House criticized the findings of a report by a conservative economist who serves as a trustee overseeing Medicare and Social Security finances, saying they represented a partisan analysis.

Politico: Battle Brewing Over Cost Of Health Care Law?
A GOP trustee on the board overseeing Medicare financing is set to release a report on Tuesday concluding that the health care law will add $340 billion in costs, The Washington Post reports. The report, by conservative policy analyst Charles Blahous, spurred the White House late Monday night to issue a prebuttal of sorts, claiming Blahous is using some form of "new math" and that the law will actually decrease the deficit. "In another attempt to refight the battles of the past, one former Bush Administration official is wrongly claiming that some of the savings in the Affordable Care Act are 'double-counted' and that the law actually increases the deficit. This claim is false," Jeanne Lambrew, deputy assistant to the president for health policy wrote in a White House blog post (Slack, 4/10).

ABC: White House Blasts Obama-Appointed Republican Health Care Economist
The White House has unleashed a torrent of criticism on a leading conservative economist  -- approved by President Obama in 2010 as a Republican trustee overseeing Medicare and Social Security finances -- for concluding in a new study that the Affordable Care Act will add to the deficit instead of reduce it. Charles Blahous, a former economic adviser to George W. Bush on retirement security issues and deputy director of the National Economic Council, says in a report released today that, contrary to other independent estimates, the health law will add $340 billion to the deficit (Dwyer, 4/10).

Politico Pro: W.H. Blasts Claim That ACA Will Add To Deficit
The White House hit back hard Tuesday against a report by a Republican Medicare trustee that argues the health care reform law will add between $340 billion and $530 billion to the deficit over the next decade. White House press secretary Jay Carney said the study was "obviously a partisan analysis" and pointed out that the report's author, Chuck Blahous, served as an economic adviser to President George W. Bush. He said President Barack Obama does not agree with Blahous’s views even though he named Blahous to the Medicare Board of Trustees (Feder, 4/10).

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