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Thread: Health Costs and the Federal Budget

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    Health Costs and the Federal Budget

    Director's Blog

    In CBO’s judgment, the health legislation enacted earlier this year does not substantially diminish that pressure. In fact, CBO estimated that the health legislation will increase the federal budgetary commitment to health care (which CBO defines as the sum of net federal outlays for health programs and tax preferences for health care) by nearly $400 billion during the 2010-2019 period. Looking further ahead, CBO estimated that the legislation would reduce the federal budgetary commitment to health care in the following decade—if the provisions of the legislation remain unchanged throughout that entire period. CBO also estimated that the legislation will reduce budget deficits by about $140 billion during the 2010-2019 period and by an amount in a broad range around one-half percent of gross domestic product (GDP) during the following decade—again, under the assumption that the legislation remains in force as enacted.
    Just a follow up blog post from the CBO director.

    In the bold, you'll notice the caveat.
    Which has already occurred.
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    Re: Health Costs and the Federal Budget

    I think most realize more work is to be done.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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    Re: Health Costs and the Federal Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    I think most realize more work is to be done.
    I think most realize that we were lied to about the costs of this pig.

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    Re: Health Costs and the Federal Budget

    I'm not too worried about the costs. The CBO's estimates were pessimistic if anything. This is because they plan for the worst-case scenario, as they should. But there were hundreds of potential cost-savings proposals in the bill. Some of them may work, and some may not. But the CBO erred on the conservative side for nearly ALL of those potential savings. Of course they won't all pan out...but certainly some fraction higher than 0% will.

    Also, I'm not worried about the costs because I believe that the coming biotechnology revolution will make most of our existing treatments obsolete (and therefore cheap). So either we'll pay a lot for top-notch medical care that adds many healthy decades to our lifespans, or we'll pay a lot less than we currently do for the same level of care. Either of those would be an improvement over what we have now.
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    Re: Health Costs and the Federal Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by cholla View Post
    I think most realize that we were lied to about the costs of this pig.
    No, we weren't. The CBO scores amendments too. If we propose changes (like the reconciliation package that passed) the CBO will score those too. (which it did) The CBO can't predict the effects of legislation that hasn't been proposed yet. Or would you like them to start projecting every possible scenario? "Well let's see if an amendment is passed that increases everyone's taxes to 90% then ____. Next, if they pass an amendment that requires all doctors to perform surgery while singing 'You are my sunshine,' we predict that will cost ____"
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    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: Health Costs and the Federal Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    No, we weren't. The CBO scores amendments too. If we propose changes (like the reconciliation package that passed) the CBO will score those too. (which it did) The CBO can't predict the effects of legislation that hasn't been proposed yet. Or would you like them to start projecting every possible scenario? "Well let's see if an amendment is passed that increases everyone's taxes to 90% then ____. Next, if they pass an amendment that requires all doctors to perform surgery while singing 'You are my sunshine,' we predict that will cost ____"
    Who exatly are you arguing with here? Straw arguments?

    I was speaking about the double count of medicare monies, deleting the doc fix, things that are in the law and were presented to the CBO in such a way that the scoring given was not a true representation of the actual costs.
    Thus my saying that we were lied to about this pig of a bill.

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    Re: Health Costs and the Federal Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by cholla View Post
    I think most realize that we were lied to about the costs of this pig.
    I do't think so. I think most of us understood much more than you give creidt for.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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    Re: Health Costs and the Federal Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    I do't think so. I think most of us understood much more than you give creidt for.
    You are right, we understood that we were being lied to. There was no mystery there. Unfortunately, we did not have the representation to stop it. November should fix that.

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    Re: Health Costs and the Federal Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by cholla View Post
    You are right, we understood that we were being lied to. There was no mystery there. Unfortunately, we did not have the representation to stop it. November should fix that.
    You're right. We were being lied to about there being government death panels should a public option occur, when, currently, we have to deal with death panels by private insurance companies.

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    Re: Health Costs and the Federal Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    You're right. We were being lied to about there being government death panels should a public option occur, when, currently, we have to deal with death panels by private insurance companies.
    And these lies won. Sadly.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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