PETER SUDERMAN: The White House Kindly Requests You Do Not Refer to Its Health Care Budget Gimmicks as “Gimmicks”. “When early drafts of health care reform rang up at around $1.6 trillion, Washington underwent a massive freakout; it became clear that passing a bill that kind of price tag was almost certainly impossible. So Obama gave Congress a target of ‘around $900 billion’ for the bill, and one of the ways the lower figure was achieved was by starting the taxes revenue mechanisms immediately but holding off on implementing the benefits. That allowed for the Senate bill’s politically convenient $850 billion score while disguising the fact that true cost of a full ten years of the bill’s programs is actually more like $1.8 trillion (and that’s not counting the trillion-plus in additional costs imposed by an individual mandate).”