Charles Krauthammer writes about "flimflammery," "phony numbers," and the "the biggest budget buster in the history of the welfare state." Here are a few excerpts:
Suppose someone — say, the president of the United States — proposed the following: We are drowning in debt. More than $14 trillion right now. I’ve got a great idea for deficit reduction. It will yield savings of $230 billion over the next 10 years: We increase spending by $540 billion while we increase taxes by $770 billion. He’d be laughed out of town. And yet, this is precisely what the Democrats are claiming as a virtue of Obamacare.... Of course, the very numbers that yield this $230 billion 'deficit reduction' are phony to begin with. The CBO is required to accept every assumption, promise (of future spending cuts, for example), and chronological gimmick that Congress gives it.... To be sure, the effect on the deficit is not the only criterion by which to judge Obamacare. But the tossing around of such clearly misleading bumper-sticker numbers calls into question the trustworthiness of other happy claims about Obamacare. Such as the repeated promise that everyone who likes his current health insurance will be able to keep it. Sure, but only if your employer continues to offer it. In fact, millions of workers will find themselves adrift because their employers will have every incentive to dump them onto the public rolls.
It's worth adding that even the CBO says that Obamacare would increase the national debt. The CBO writes that, because of its effect on Medicare and the cost of its implementation, Obamacare would increase the national debt by $341 billion. That is an extreme low-ball figure, but it is also an admission, by the CBO, that Obamacare would actually put us further into the red.