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It’s the fault of the administration and its allies in Congress, who've shamelessly abused the scoring process in an effort to cover the health law's budgetary shortcomings with a fig leaf of fiscal responsibility. In congressional testimony last year, Sebelius was asked whether the Medicare savings money would be used to fund ObamaCare's healths subsidies or extend the life of Medicare. Her response? "Both."
Indeed, as Blahous notes, federal scorekeepers have “taken pains to warn lawmakers that the provisions of the ACA intended to produce budgetary savings ultimately may be less than fully effective.”
But ObamaCare's backers in Congress and the White House ignored those warnings, preferring to have it both ways—insisting over and over that the law will both reduce the deficit and keep Medicare's finances afloat. Ultimately, the accounting will catch up to them.
Peter Suderman is a senior editor at Reason magazine.