Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

PolitiFact.com | Tampa Bay Times
Sorting out the truth in politics

PolitiFact: Romney claim that health care law adds trillions to debt is False

The statement

"Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt."

Mitt Romney, Thursday in a press conference

The ruling

How is it that a law can raise taxes and cut spending, but also add trillions to the deficit?

That was Mitt Romney's claim after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the core of the health care law.

"Obamacare raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion. Obamacare cuts Medicare — cuts Medicare by approximately $500 billion," Romney said. "And even with those cuts and tax increases, Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt, and pushes those obligations on to coming generations."

We asked the Romney campaign for evidence for this statement, but we didn't hear back.

For claims about laws that are not yet fully enacted, our go-to source is the Congressional Budget Office. It's a nonpartisan, widely respected agency with an expert staff that generates projections and reports about how proposed laws affect the federal budget.

The Congressional Budget Office is not always right in its projections. In recent years, for example, it overestimated how much it would cost to cover prescription drugs for seniors in Medicare. The program actually came in under projections.

But for claims about deficits, we consider the Congressional Budget Office, often called the CBO, to be the standard by which we fact-check claims.

The CBO said this about the health care law back in 2010: It lowers the deficit — by about $124 billion over 10 years.

And in 2011, when Republicans offered a bill to repeal the health care law, the CBO said that increased the deficit — by about $210 billion over 10 years.

Now, is the CBO infallible? Certainly not. And good questions have been raised about some of the CBO's methods in accounting for the health care law's effects.

We reported on some of those concerns in great detail in a fact-check of a statement from U.S. Rep Paul Ryan, R-Wis. He said the law was "accelerating our country toward bankruptcy." We rated that Mostly False.

The CBO itself acknowledges the uncertainty surrounding its estimates. Its reports regularly warn that uncertainty increases as it makes projections farther into the future.

And, the Supreme Court ruling may change certain elements of the health care law's costs.

A statement on the CBO website on the day of the ruling said, "CBO is in the process of reviewing the Supreme Court's decision related to the Affordable Care Act to assess the effect on CBO's projections of federal spending and revenue under current law. We expect that this assessment will probably take some time."

Still, we find no factual basis for Romney's claim that the law "adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt." We rate his statement False.

This ruling has been edited for print. Read the full version at PolitiFact.com.

PolitiFact: Romney claim that health care law adds trillions to debt is False 06/30/12 [Last modified: Saturday, June 30, 2012 4:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays make Hechavarria trade official

    Blogs

    Here is the release from the team ...

     

  2. Jones: Will Tampa Bay hit a Hall of Fame dry spell now?

    Lightning Strikes

    Marty St. Louis may lack the Hall of Fame stats, but two scoring titles, an MVP award and clutch goals should count for a lot. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
  3. SeaWorld shares drop Monday to 2017 low after disclosure of federal subpoena

    Tourism

    The Orlando parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks saw its stock drop 3.5 percent Monday to $15.10, its lowest price of this year.

    Killer whales perform at Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld in Orlando in 2011, before public pressure was placed on the theme park company to curtail its orca shows.SeaWorld has since announced an end to the traditional killer whale entertainment  at its theme parks. [AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack]
  4. Update: Scientology cancels planned mock FBI raid on downtown building

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — The Church of Scientology planned to film a mock FBI raid on a downtown building Monday afternoon, but the actors and cameras never showed up to the location disclosed to the city.

    According to Clearwater Police, the Church of Scientology plans to hold a mock FBI raid at 3 p.m. Monday at this vacant building at 305 N Fort Harrison Ave. Police announced the raid in advance to alert the public. They said they did not know the reason for the event. [Google Earch image]
  5. Support for gay marriage surges, even among groups once wary

    Human Interest

    NEW YORK — In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey.

    People gather in Washington's Lafayette Park to see the White House lit up in rainbow colors on June 26, 2015, the day the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage legal. In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey released on Monday, June 26, 2017. [Associated Press]