The Federalist: Paul Ryan Flip-Flops On Fiscal Responsibility To Prop Up Obamacare.
What a difference eight years makes. In February 2010, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), then Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, spoke at the White House health care summit decrying Obamacare as “a bill that is full of gimmicks and smoke-and-mirrors.” His comments became a viral sensation, so much so that the Wall Street Journal published a condensed version of his remarks as an op-ed.
Fast forward to March 2018, where Ryan, now Speaker of the House, is engaged in his own gimmicks and smoke-and-mirrors — not to repeal Obamacare, but to prop it up. As I previously reported, Ryan and the House Republican leadership have proposed using fiscal sleight-of-hand to create fictitious budgetary savings, which they can turn around and spend on corporate welfare to health insurers. Put another way, Ryan wants to raise the spending baseline artificially, so Republicans can lower the spending baseline back to its original level, spending the “savings” on an Obamacare bailout.
Reporters confirmed as much on Monday, when an article claimed that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) believes appropriating funds for cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs) for three years would save the federal government $32 billion, when compared to a scenario in which Congress does not appropriate CSR payments. Not coincidentally, the article noted that a separate bill by Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA) — “which House leaders have embraced” — would create a $30 billion “Stability Fund” for insurers, purportedly paid for by the $32 billion in “savings” caused from appropriating CSRs.
The article doesn’t say so outright, but it’s not hard to figure out what happened behind the scenes. MORE