July 16th, 2009
01:42 PM ET
3 years ago

CBO: Health reform bills won't reduce costs

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - 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.

Elmendorf's preliminary conclusions were based on a bill jointly released by three committees in the House this week and another bill passed by the Senate health committee on Wednesday.

"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."

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soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Fla.

    The idea is to reduce healthcare costs over time through increased competition. Of course, costs will not reduce initially. The public option will take time to implement for us.

    This healthcare reform needs to pass now–the sooner the better to get the process started for ALL Americans. Time is of the essence when people's health is at stake.

    July 16, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. AndrewCPA

    What??? I thought this great plan would save us all money. Maybe our eleceted officials should start re-thinking this grand idea. Many of my friends (Dems/Repubs/Ind) all feel the sameway... no way on this. Talk about a big waste of money and time they are spending on this. This will make all of us suffer in lines, increased fees (I am sure this will happen they are just not telling us that yet).

    I am happy with my medical insurance. I pay my share, my co-pays, and other fees. Are they high, to a point, but I am in control, I have never had an issue.

    July 16, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. No one famous

    Doesn't matter what the CBO reports. We have a president that is gunho to spend trillions of dollars that we do not have!

    To BHO – keep pushing this over-priced government socialist program down the throats of most Americans who do not want it. Great job!

    July 16, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. mike

    Go away for vacation somewhere.

    Go to agentina..

    July 16, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. Julia Byrd- Hayden Idaho

    No, but the OIG is working hard to catch all the criminals that are fradulently billing Medicare and Medicaid for services that were never provided. You can read it weekly, you would no believe the amount of professionals, doctors, lawyers, others that are constantly billing for services not provided. Example: From the office of the Attorney General, now this is what will reduce healthcare, ins. costs.
    CUOMO ANNOUNCES TAKEDOWN OF INSURANCE FRAUD RING WHICH INFILTRATED NEW YORK HOSPITALS –
    “The Levy Enterprise” Paid Hospital Employees for Confidential Patient Information, then Lured Patients into Unnecessary Treatment for Minor Motor Vehicle Accidents, Submitting Over $1 Million in Phony Insurance ClaimsCuomo Puts Hospitals Across the State on Notice After Bringing Felony Charges Against Over 20 Individuals and Corporations Involved

    July 16, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    How can anyone possibly think that Government, with its long history of rampant cost overruns, conflicting rules, layers upon layers of useless and inefficient bureaucracy, and redundant programs and departments, reduce the cost of anything?

    July 16, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. Scott, Tucson

    People read the health care bill, it's a can of worms. It's no wonder our politicians have exempt themselves from having to enroll in it, if I had a choice I wouldn't either but we're not going to be given a choice.

    July 16, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    To cut cost you need Tort Reform in which the insurance companies, hospitals and doctors pass the savings to the patients. Streamlining the papework will cut cost too, but you had better expect no privacy since hackers can break into your records because no computer is safe. You can also cut cost by cutting quality and quanity but the dems do not like that acknowledge but know it will happen as it has in the socialized medicine pprograms. The people recieving government assistance need to foot part of the bill so they will appreciate what they are being given by the taxpayer.

    July 16, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. JGB

    No kidding!! Does anyone really think anything the government does would reduce costs?? Wake up people, this will cost us dearly!

    July 16, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. inofritzn

    Liberals are funny and dangerously ignorant. Glad to see some people in power still have a functioning brain. Lib:"People that work hard or smart in life and make it should take care of those who don't " HAHAHAHA

    July 16, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Really now? Hmmmm and we knew the bailouts were not going to help main street workers, but the Government went ahead and did it anyways. Now all those banks are sitting pretty with record profits and the main street American is homeless, starving and begging for help.
    So what makes you think that any amount of true decision making is going to stop this congress and this President from spending another three trillion dollars with little or no benefit for the average citizen?

    July 16, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Sam Sixpack

    Money, shmoney. Who cares? We'll believe anything. It's just another proctology exam - bend over!

    July 16, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. skyhawkdriver

    Until every member of congress signs on to and participates in this so called reform it should never become the law..or is this plan not good enough for the royal class that has become the two houses of congress??..were there really people who thought this was going to save money??..with the federal government involved??..hahaha!!gotcha!!

    July 16, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  14. Marc

    Now this is a well based objection to the Health Care Reform (FINALLY!), as it is now being proposed. Good, now it's up to the gov. to check if the data presented by CBO is accurate (which it is most likely to be) and then make the necessary adjustements to the bill.
    Health care reform is needed, but if the bill really has problems in it then the bill has to be changed and its problems corrected.

    July 16, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. Matt

    Health bills won't reduce costs.

    Duh!

    Plus it will add TRILLIONS to the National deficit and debt.

    Wake up America!

    We can't pay for the programs we have, we need this incompetent 'administration' to stop creating more things we can't pay for!

    July 16, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. single mom

    Um, DUH!!
    The politicians can't get Medicare and Medicaid straightened out. BUT they want the American people to trust them with all of the healthcare? What are they on and where can I get some?
    Oh, I forgot - I'm a regular person, so I won't be on the same plan as Congress.

    July 16, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Democrati Ignorati

    Quick...pass the bill before anyone gets a chance to read this article.

    July 16, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. Melissa

    What the Democrats are offering is a heck of alot better ideas than the Republicans. It will take time to see results. Especially since the insurance companies will fight tooth and nail to find ways to keep the rates exactly the same as they are now.

    I would rather have an increase in taxes than continue as things are now. No more padding the pockets of the rich and greedy.

    July 16, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  19. inat

    Respect to CNN for posting an article that does NOT support Obama's agenda. I was beginning to lose faitn in CNN

    July 16, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  20. Rick CT

    Won't matter. The key is rushing this through for some ceremonial signing. Getting it even somewhere near close to right isn't a consideration.

    July 16, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. kishen c.rao

    add CBO to the credit another lobbying guys...AMA, hospitals, now CBO, insurance silly....stupid....be practical....ok

    July 16, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. USMC - Mike

    That's why there can be no health care plan that includes employer-based or private ins-based health care ...

    It MUST be all single-payer...

    end of story ...

    July 16, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. I give enough already

    Even this administration's accounting executives feel this health proposal is a money looser not money saver and he started in January 09!

    July 16, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. yuri

    OK, then what'll reduce the cost, in your opinion, CBO? It is vexin' to see a lot of people attackin' the plan, and nobody seems to be offerin' Plan B, including those idiotic Blue Dog Dems.

    July 16, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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