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Health Care Reform Should be Scored Over the Long-Term
Posted By Stephen Keen On July 16, 2009 @ 12:53 pm In Economics | Comments Disabled
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.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/07/16/health-care-reform-should-be-scored-over-the-long-term/
URLs in this post:
 promised to : http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/obama-urges-healthcare-reform-paid-boosting-efficiencies
 $1.3 trillion. : http://www.foundry.org/2009/07/15/the-true-cost-of-the-house-health-plan-in-pictures/
 their total cost will more than double over the next forty years.: http://www.heritage.org/research/features/BudgetChartBook/Entitlement-Spending-Will-More-Than-Double-by-2050.aspx
 long-term present-value cost exceeds $9 trillion today.: http://www.heritage.org/research/socialsecurity/wm2458.cfm
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