Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Former CBO head on the cost of the health care bill

There are those who really believe that we can have more available health care more cheaply without any diminution of quality. And the government is going to accomplish this. Yeah, right. And the evidence for this is that the Congressional Budget Office says so. Here is a former director of the CBO in the New York Times pointing out this magic is done:
Last Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office reported that health care reform legislation would, over the next 10 years, cost about $950 billion, but because it would raise some revenues and lower some costs, it would also lower federal deficits by $138 billion. In other words, a bill that would set up two new entitlement spending programs — health insurance subsidies and long-term health care benefits — would actually improve the nation’s bottom line.

Could this really be true? How can the budget office give a green light to a bill that commits the federal government to spending nearly $1 trillion more over the next 10 years?

The answer, unfortunately, is that the budget office is required to take written legislation at face value and not second-guess the plausibility of what it is handed. So fantasy in, fantasy out.

In reality, if you strip out all the gimmicks and budgetary games and rework the calculus, a wholly different picture emerges: The health care reform legislation would raise, not lower, federal deficits, by $562 billion.
~Former CBO Director Douglas Holz-Eakins (and currently president of the American Action Forum).

HT: Carpe Diem

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