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Take 2: CBO – No Savings in the Revamped Healthcare Bill

Editor’s note: CBO again details the costs of the health bills in Congress. First, the President’s Budget Director call it the most important addition to the health bill. Then Orszag does the misdirection and tries to say that the change to the bill is to improve quality and only save costs over the long term. Really??

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For the second time this month, congressional budget analysts have dealt a blow to the Democrat’s health reform efforts, this time by saying a plan touted by the White House as crucial to paying for the bill would actually save almost nomoney over 10 years.

A key House chairman and moderate House Democrats on Tuesday agreed to a White House-backed proposal that would give an outside panel the power to make cuts to government-financed health care programs. White House budget directorPeter Orszagdeclared the plan “probably the most important piece that can be added” to the House’s health care reform legislation.

But on Saturday, theCongressional Budget Officesaid the proposal to give an independent panel the power to keep Medicare spending in check would only save about $2 billion over 10 years- a drop in the bucket compared to the bill’s $1 trillion price tag.

On his White House blog, Orszag – who served as CBO director in 2007 and 2008 – downplayed the office’s small probable savings number in favor of the proposal’s more speculative long-term benefits.

“The point of the proposal, however, was never to generate savings over the next decade. … Instead, the goal is to provide a mechanism for improving quality of care for beneficiaries and reducing costs over the long term,”Orszag wrote. “In other words, in the terminology of our belt-and-suspenders approach to a fiscally responsible health reform, the IMAC is a game changer not a scoreable offset.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25415.html

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July 25, 2009 - Posted by | Federal Government, healthcare | , ,

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