The Congressional Budget Office has released its report on Obama’s health care plan.  It’s projected to bring a $130 billion deficit reduction in the first ten years, and further reductions of up to $1.2 trillion in the second ten. 

The wonderful Ezra Klein sums up the politics of voting against the bill:

If you’re a liberal House Democrat, here’s what you’d be voting against: Legislation that covers 32 million people. A world in which 95 percent of all non-elderly, legal residents have health-care coverage. An end to insurers rescinding coverage for the sick, or discriminating based on preexisting conditions, or spending 30 cents of each premium dollar on things that aren’t medical care. Exchanges where insurers who want to jack up premiums will have to publicly explain their reason, where regulators will be able to toss them out based on bad behavior, and where consumers will be able to publicly rate them. Hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies to help lower-income Americans afford health-care insurance. The final closure of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit’s “doughnut hole.”

If you’re a conservative House Democrat, then probably you support many of those policies, too. But you also get the single most ambitious effort the government has ever made to control costs in the health-care sector. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill cuts deficits by $130 billion in the first 10 years, and up to $1.2 trillion in the second 10 years. The excise tax is now indexed to inflation, rather than inflation plus one percentage point, and the subsidies grow more slowly over time. So one of the strongest cost controls just got stronger, and the automatic spending growth slowed. And then there are all the other cost controls in the bill: The Medicare Commission, which makes entitlement reform much more possible. The programs to begin paying doctors and hospitals for care rather than volume. The competitive insurance market.

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3 comments to YES!

  • 1
    Erik says:

    But wait, the Idaho and Virginia legislators have just individually passed laws that would allow the respective states to sue the federal government over the constitutionality of the provision forcing those without insurance to buy insurance or be penalized. My question for them is where were their objections to this provision when this was first announced? Why didn’t they lobby their congressional reps in Washington to have it removed? I checked. They didn’t. Another ridiculous tactic in an attempt to derail the closest point we have ever gotten to healthcare reform.

  • 2
    Jonathan Davis says:

    Do we know if this Bill includes anything to do with the the Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act?

    I am recently married and was wondering if it was still on the table…



  • 3
    BIll says:

    The savings projected by the CBO come down to a case of figures don’t lie but lies can figure. The CBO MUST score the bill based on the assumptions provided to it by congress. If the assumptions are invalid or simple not possible, the CBO may not point that out. It may only report based on the information it receives. My understanding is around half of the 1.2 trillion is to come from reduction of Medicare benefits, like that will happen. The head of the CBO said he did not personally believe the plan would work the way it was presented. I don’t see any way this is possible without increasing the deficit.

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