As the health care debate heats up in Congress, will Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) support the Democrats’ current legislation, which the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director warned today would “worsen an already bleak budget outlook”?
“The health reform bills released so far would increase government spending on health care without sufficiently reining in health care costs. And at least initially they aren’t likely to significantly lower premiums for the majority of Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance. That’s the sobering takeaway from testimony Thursday by Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf... ‘The creation of a new subsidy for health insurance ... would by itself raise federal spending on health care. ... [T]o offset that there have to be substantial reductions (on the tax or spending sides of the ledger],’ Elmendorf told the Senate Budget Committee. ‘The changes we’ve looked at so far don’t represent the fundamental change on the order of magnitude that would be necessary.’” – “CBO: Health Reform Bills Won’t Reduce Costs,” CNN, July 16, 2009
“The health care overhauls released to date would increase, not reduce, the burgeoning long-term health costs facing the government, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf said Thursday... ‘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,’ he said.” – “CBO Chief: Health Bills to Increase Federal Costs,” Congressional Quarterly, July 16, 2009
Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf warned lawmakers the legislation that he has seen so far would raise costs, not lower them. Elmendorf was asked by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.S., if the bills Congress is considering would ‘bend the cost curve.’ The budget director responded: ‘The curve is being raised.’” – “House Democrats Set to Vote on Health Care Bill,” Associated Press, July 16, 2009
“Instead of saving the federal government from fiscal catastrophe, the health reform measures being drafted by congressional Democrats would worsen an already bleak budget outlook, increasing deficit projections and driving the nation more deeply into debt, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said this morning...’On the contrary,’ Elmendorf said, ‘the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.’” – “CBO Chief Criticizes Democrats’ Health Reform Measures,” Washington Post, July 16, 2009
“Here’s a blow to President Obama and Democrats pressing health care reform. One of the main arguments made by the President and others for investing in health reform now is that it will save the federal government money in the long run by containing costs. Turns out that may not be the case, according to Doug Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Answering questions from Democrat Kent Conrad of North Dakota at a hearing of the Senate Budget Committee today, Elmendorf said CBO does not see health care cost savings in either of the partisan Democratic bills currently in Congress.” – “CBO Sees No Federal Cost Savings in Dem Health Plans,” ABC News, July 16, 2009
“The Congressional Budget Office has made that job even harder by refusing to acknowledge changes in the bill that, Democrats argue, would save the government even more money, like a pledge from drug makers to pony up $30 billion to close a coverage gap under Medicare. ‘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,’ CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said. ‘And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.’” – “Pelosi Open to Reducing Surtax,” Politico, July 16, 2009
“Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, told the Senate Budget committee today the legislation he has seen so far lacks the ‘fundamental changes’ that would significantly lower health-care spending.” – “Pelosi Says ‘High-End’ Tax Surcharge May be Reduced,” Bloomberg, July 16, 2009