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  • Full CBO Scoring Crucial in Health Care Reform

    The Senate Finance Committee will soon take up Chairman Baucus’ health care reform proposal for consideration and amendment. The initial proposal as outlined September 17 was incomplete in many respects and a detailed evaluation is impossible. There was enough detail to provide a meaningful initial reaction .

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scoring of Chairman Baucus’s proposal highlights a crucial shortcoming – it represents a massive expansion in the size of government. The first fiscal policy test of any bill ought not to be whether it increases the deficit, though this is important, but that the bill not increase the size of government.

    Deficit effects are important and so it is important that measures proposed to generate offsetting savings be legitimate and real. The Baucus proposal includes a number of significant changes to Medicare and Medicaid. Many of these may be meritorious. However, both Medicare and Medicaid are unaffordable in the current form. Spending under both programs is expected to far outstrip available resources, and so reductions in spending are welcome. However, cost savings from modest reductions that leave both programs unaffordable are not legitimate offsets to use for other spending. This is a fraudulent and dangerous shell game the Congress should not engage in.

    Because deficit effects now and “in the future” as the President indicated are important, the CBO should provide detailed scoring of the Chairman’s mark and subsequent legislation prior to any vote being taken. Further, because these are long-term reforms introduced over some years and that are likely to evolve significantly over time it is vital the CBO provide detailed scoring over a 20-year period, not the usual 10-year period. Extended scoring of this sort is fraught with uncertainties about which the CBO is properly concerned. However, such projections can be made credibly, as the Lewin Group has demonstrated. The best CBO projections for all their weaknesses will provide far more information than no projections at all.

    Finally, because the long-term fiscal health of the nation is in question, with unprecedented deficits in the near term and massive unfunded obligations in the long-run, the CBO must also provide its best estimate of the net deficit effects over the long run similar to the Trustee’s projections for Social Security and Medicare.

    The Congress and the President are contemplating a massive restructuring of 1/6 of our economy in a way that will profoundly affect the federal budget for decades. The CBO should take the time necessary to provide all the information possible to lawmakers and the public to make the best decisions possible.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Full CBO Scoring Crucial in Health Care Reform

    1. Bill, San Antonio TX says:

      Darn it!

      Every single article is missing the major point!

      There is a "reason" why immigration "reform" was not done before Health Care! It's because it is a dynamite issue.

      If we grant amnesty to 12-20 million illegal aliens, they can then bring in relatives. Before we are done we could be saddled with 60-80 million more people. That is not fantasy! Further, there are no checks NOW to effectively track, apprehend, or deport the aliens who are here. It is not the leftists intent to do so.

      La Raza wants open borders. They could care less about the "definition" of "citizen".

      You cannot talk about Health Care with any accuracy unless you weave what Obama is going to do about illegal immigrants into the equation.

      The fact that no one has the ___s to challenge "sanctuary cities" ought to be telling enough. WAKE UP!

    2. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Perhaps I misunderstood what I thought I heard, but doesn't Obama want to push the CBO out of the

      picture when it comes to their scoring of the

      furture deficits. He want to use "his people" as

      the "offical" scorers. How surprising!

    3. Jerry from Chicago says:

      Bill from San Antonio is right on target. Mr. Obama goes on TV, looks into the camera, and in his most "sincere" demeanor, assures the American people that his Health Reform plan will not provide coverage to illegal aliens. What he doesn't state are his intentions with respect to GRANTING AMNESTY TO ALL ILLEGAL ALIENS after he establishes his government run, national health care plan. No one has asked him this direct question. Now he just appeared on all the major networks (except Fox) last Sunday. Do you think even one of all those hard hitting "journalists" might have posed that question? No, they were all too busy lobbing softballs to him.

      With a simple stroke of a pen, all the illegals would become legal then, they (and all of the relatives they bring into the States) will be fully eligible for all of the benefits Mr. Obama's national health care system has to offer. Then Mr. Obama can't be accused of lying because all of those people who are illegal aliens today, won't be when he grants them blanket amnesty. See, we didn't cover illegals.

      Don't think for one moment that Mr. Obama won't do this. He will of course do this and point to prior Presidents who did exactly the same thing, including George Bush. If he gets his national health care plan, it's a certainty that blanket amnesty will follow. What message will that send to those just waiting for their chance to become illegal aliens? Ill tell you what that message will be, "Come on in, our immigration laws are a joke any way. Remember who did this for you at election time".

    4. Bill San Antonio TX says:

      There is no doubt that this HF web site is monitored by both conservatives and liberals, also by democrats, republications, independents, socialists, foriegners, and foreign governments. It does the task that most news media will not – it challenges government. One only look at the questions POTUS admin are asked? Instead of WATCHDOGS we got LAPDOGS. Where is the free press watching out for individual rights?

      There are times when I would swear ideas, talking points are gleaned from the input of concerned Americans that express their right of free speech on blogs.

      For the democrats and independents, this IS NOT about the POTUS and/or those he surrounds himself with. Well-meaning yet naivete does not count for much in this dangerous world.

      I would rather have a person I trust with the security of my family, who I do not like personally, then someone who is, by all accounts, well-spoken and likeable. How many flip-flops have you seen already while G. Bush gets excoriated at every turn. Bush could have beat up on Clinton but did not. There is a dignity to the Presidency that slipped.

      This is everything about America's national defense, security, and out-of-control taxing and spending. DO NOT THINK you will NOT be affected by the direction this White House and the relatively few far-left liberals want to take America.

      You should be very worried. I know that many of you feel as though you've been duped – you have. It happens to everyone. George Bush made his share of mistakes BUT he did not envision or move to change America into something we will all regret. The middle class is and has always been the TARGET.

      Don't take my word for it; just observe what is happening. WE as a country cannot sustain open borders. It threatens not just our security but our bank account.

      Once Americas are totally dependent on government – there is NO turning back. The debt will be too vast and the tax rates will never go down. Worse, we will OWE countries that could care less about America's values.

      How much do you really trust the direction we are heading in?

      And, for those who would try to stifle speech

      through intimidation and ruined lives – the same thing can happen to you by oppressive idealogues. What kind of Americans are those government officials who would move to dismantle individual rights? Is politics worth selling out the masses?

      Remember, this will happen gradually; those who would turn our country upside down know they cannot be too agressive. So far, they have done a pretty good job of trying.

    5. Linda, Mobile Alabam says:

      What I haven't heard anyone say about this "amesty" for illegal aliens is what is this going to do to the voter registration? Sort of "Leave with the one who brung you to the dance". It keeps the democrats in the White House for elections to come. Enough for our country to be dramatically changed.

    6. Bill San Antonio TX says:

      Dear Linda,

      Cheer up! We've got ACORN and hundreds of its umbrella organizations to make sure voter registration is done fairly and legally.

      After all, ACORN represents "non-political" entities.

    7. Pingback: CBO on Health Care « Peter Blane

    8. Pingback: Barack Obama: America’s Orko. « DouglasernstYLP

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