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  • Health Care Reform Should be Scored Over the Long-Term

    President Obama has repeatedly signaled he would not support a health care reform bill unless it includes long-term cost savings. He recently promised to “take on key causes of rising [health care] costs – saving billions while providing better care to the American people.”

    But will the current health care reform proposals actually curtail costs? Recent estimates from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) say no. The 10-year price tag for the House version currently stands at $1.3 trillion.

    The Obama Administration does not refute the fact that health care reform will come with an expensive near-term cost; rather, it claims that such costs are actually an investment in exchange for long-term savings. Unfortunately, this assertion has a key problem. At present, not one of the health care proposals has been officially scored by the CBO over a period greater than ten years. In fact, nearly all important pieces of legislation signed into law with long-term budget implications are passed without a long-term CBO scoring. This must change, because as we know from the other health care entitlements – Medicare and Medicaid – their total cost will more than double over the next forty years.

    For example, when the Medicare Part D drug benefit was passed, the five-year cost that was voted on was $409 billion. The long-term present-value cost exceeds $9 trillion today. If we’re going to have a serious conversation about health care reform and the long-term health of our economy, we have to look outside a ten-year window.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Health Care Reform Should be Scored Over the Long-Term

    1. Frank Crocker, Washi says:

      So in order to pay for this, were going to hike up taxes on the wealthy.

      Is there any incentive to succeed here in the USA, if the government is just going to take it right back?

      Frank Crocker

    2. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      The demagogues' leadership is trying to sell a broken healthcare scheme for top dollar to the American people? While undermining job-creating productive free-markets? What I see is total contempt by elected officials for the American citizenry. I'll agree a majority of folks were duped into voting for them. George Santayana was right when he said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." I pray things will never be as horrific in America as they were in 1930s Europe. But the current administration appears to be crawling damned close. As a friend warned me, keep your powder dry. I'd much prefer an overwhelming takeover of congress by conservatives in 2010. This critical election is closing fast. It's time these out of control congressional liberals are shown the big door.

    3. HSR0601 says:

      A new 'incomplete' analysis by congressional budget experts of emerging House legislation said it would increase deficits by $239 billion over a decade.

      CBO does not score any savings from prevention / wellness and the rest, even if Prevention / wellness is an actual and essential part of the savings.

      Besides, the Times in a July 7 editorial argued “As much as 30 percent of all health-care spending in this country—some $700 billion a year—may be wasted on tests and treatments that do not improve the health of the recipients,” .

      And I think the others such as increased productivity, potential stem cell effect, decreased mental stress, and massive job creation considered, the reform might be within reach.

      The report of stem cell research turned around the stock markets world-wide, and then what if the reform package clears the Congress ?

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