How Bad The Debate Is: Many pundits still like to pretend that we’re having something resembling a rational national debate…. And when you find a politician saying something not at all reasonable, there’s a lot of false equivalence — surely both sides do it, even if you don’t have any, you know, actual examples from one side. Then you encounter something like this: the CBO puts out its latest update (pdf) on the cost of the subsidies in the Affordable Care Act, and the chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee puts out this statement:
House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) issued the following statement regarding the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) updated cost estimate of the president’s health care law. The new CBO projection estimates that the law will cost $1.76 trillion over 10 years – well above the $940 billion Democrats originally claimed….
[T]he CBO report says this:
CBO and JCT now estimate that the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of just under $1.1 trillion over the 2012–2021 period—about $50 billion less than the agencies’ March 2011 estimate for that 10-year period
And where does this statement that the estimated costs have fallen, not risen, appear? On the very first page of the report.
Tell me that this is a rational, honest debate. Or if you claim that everyone does it, find me a senior Democrat — not some random pundit or backbencher — making an equivalent howler.