Six years ago, the then Republican-controlled Congress beat Democratic opposition and passed a prescription drug benefit to Medicare that will add $500 billion at minimum to the federal deficit by 2013. Democrats are irked by their inconsistency.
Democrats use data from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to back up their claim that the Democratic health care reform bill will pay for itself. But Republicans continue to oppose the HCR bill, even those who supported Medicare expansion.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, says that six years ago, the government made it a "standard practice" not pay for new programs. Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, says the economy was in better shape in 2003, and now Americans are anxious.