CBO’s Take on the Senate Health Care Bill

Here is commentary from the CBO, a non-partisan organization, on the health care bill recently brought to the senate floor.  The CBO estimates with “substantial uncertainty” that the senate bill will actually reduce the deficit by $130Bn over 10 years.  This is commentary on the cost of the plan, to say nothing about whether or not the plan will increase quality while reducing costs to the payers.  See this video for Toby Cosgrove’s (the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic) view on the issue of quality and overall expense to the payer (although this is critique of the House bill, I assume the senate bill is similar in these two regards).  Clearly the CBO’s caveat “substantial uncertainty” means something.  What do you think is more likely, the government spending more and going over budget or the opposite?  Think about it in this context, the cost cuts promised in this bill will come from Medicare, but the US population of people years 65 and older will be the fastest growing segment of the population over the next 5 years (and beyond).  Do you think any public official will get elected/re-elected by promising to cut benefits to this segment of the population?  I doubt it.  The promise of Medicare cuts is an illusion.

-Billy Ray

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