NPR: "Republican Leader Senator Judd Gregg Has No Understanding of Health Care Bill"

That should have been the lead to an NPR piece following up a Morning Edition interview with New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg. Senator Gregg, who is often held up as a thoughtful fiscal conservative, concluded his interview by asserting that the health care bill approved by Congress would increase the size of government from 20 percent to 25 percent of GDP.

That's not what the Congressional Budget Office says. According to CBO's projections the bill would increase government spending by about 1.0 percent of GDP in 2019, the last year in CBO's budget horizon. This means that Senator Gregg is off by an amount equal to 4 percentage points of GDP or the equivalent of $560 billion a year in today's economy.

It would be reasonable for NPR to highlight the fact that one of the Republicans' leading spokespeople on fiscal issues apparently has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to the health care debate. Instead, NPR allowed Gregg's outlandish assertion to be communicated to listeners unchallenged.

--Dean Baker

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