Cato education scholar Neal McCluskey revealed how a little-reported feature of the Affordable Care Act uses shady accounting to hide its overall cost.
“The change in student loans was part of Obamacare — and why was it part of Obamacare?” McCluskey said in an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller. “So that the profit they were supposedly making from the student loans could then be plugged into how much money would come from Obamacare, so it didn’t look like it cost as much.”
In the last days of Obamacare’s formulation, the projections had student loans folded into them to make them not seem so expensive.
“At the last minute, they said, ‘Look, let’s take what was then called the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, make it part of healthcare and then we can make the budget numbers come out right… [W]e will take these projected profits from the student loans, and we will say that’s part of Obamacare.’”
McCluskey warned that this fiscal conjure trick could lead to problems in the future.
“It’s very dicey to look at federal profits on student loans, and say they will make those profits, and to know why they are doing it and what the money is being used for,” he said. “To follow the smoke and mirrors of budgets — especially Obamacare — is impossible.”
Catch the full interview with Neal McCluskey on Monday on The Daily Caller.