Saturday, July 18, 2009

CBO Contradicts Obama Health Care Statements

Douglas Elmendorf, the head of the Congressional Budget Office (a Democrat appointment) dealt the Democrat's health care reform bill a serious blow. The claims made by Predident Obama that the bill would reduce costs in the long run have been analyze by the CBO as being false. Despite the CBO report President Obama continues to make these claims, choosing to ignore the CBO analysis.

CBO: Health Reform Bills Bend Cost Curve In Wrong Direction
"Congress's chief budget analyst delivered a devastating assessment yesterday of the health-care proposals drafted by congressional Democrats, fueling an insurrection among fiscal conservatives in the House and pushing negotiators in the Senate to redouble efforts to draw up a new plan that more effectively restrains federal spending," the Washington Post reports.

President Obama and congressional Democrats have said bending the "cost curve" of health care spending is a priority in health reform, to ensure soaring costs don't become unsustainable. Douglas Elmendorf, the director of the Congressional Budget Office, told lawmakers yesterday that bills proposed by the Senate health committee and the House leadership do the opposite: "The curve is being raised" (Montgomery and Murray, 7/17).

"In the legislation that has been reported, we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount and, on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs," Elmendorf said, according to CQ Politics. Ways to reduce the rate of growth could include taxing employer-provided health benefits and reforming Medicare payments to reward cost effectiveness, rather than volume (Clarke and Epstein, 7/16).

ObamaCare Breaks the Bank
Barack Obama’s sales pitch on health care reform claims that authorizing $1 trillion of new spending will somehow allow the country to save money on medical costs later. It was always a logical bridge to nowhere, and now the Democrats’ own Congressional Budget Office has called the bluff.

In a hearing yesterday, Democratic Senator Kent Conrad practically pleaded with CBO director Douglas Elmendorf to agree that the reform bill would “bend the cost curve” (i.e. create savings) in the future. The CBO chief minced no words: “The curve is being raised.” The Democratic health plan would only make the long-term deficit much worse and send our nation’s finances off the fiscal cliff.

His statement is a huge setback for the White House as it tries to shove its health-care redesign through Congress before anyone has time for second thoughts. House speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier this week: “I believe that all of the cost of the health care reform bill can come from squeezing more saving out of the system.” Right. The CBO testimony makes clear she might as well ask the tooth fairy for health-care savings

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