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. Melaney Tidwell

    What the dickens is the government trying to do to the US? They are trying to set up a dictatorial health care system that promises poor care at higher taxes and no lowered costs.
    What the dickens???

    July 16, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Looks like they're going to have to start from the drawing board.

    July 16, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. audacity of a dope

    What is this you say????? BOBO lied to us, just like the Porkulus Bill.I thought he cared about all of us. Thanks BOBO the Clown four and the door

    July 16, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. Operation Crush Rush

    With people like Limbaugh telling his wealthy callers and listeners how to hide their money in off-shore accts., and other tools,so they cant be taxed,its no wonder.What a great American he is.Not.

    July 16, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  5. Dave

    and did anyone except the Obama Administration really believe that any thing included in the current legislation would actually reduce Health Care costs?

    Wait, I know the answer – it's President Bush's fault. This is what our current Government is taking us to; SPEND us into oblivion, have a very small % of the public (less than 5%) pay for the vast majority (over 75%)of Government services and in the process KILL millions of jobs, and when anything goes wrong and our deficiet just KILLS our beloved country, Just blame President Bush

    Way to go Dem's

    July 16, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. Henry Miller

    Once again, objective analysis exposes the politicians. lies.

    The last time the CBO debunked the politicians lies about the costs of socialised medicine it was only a week or so before a more politically correct set of "facts" showed up. The same thing is no doubt going to happen again.

    July 16, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Chris

    Shock, government control (of anything) does not reduce costs.

    This is not new to those who study history and the facts, but it is a shock to the liberal mindset.

    July 16, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. Dont blame me

    And on page 16 or 18 of the bill it makes and new INDIVIDUAL health care policies ILLEGAL.

    Individual Medicare SUPPLIMENTAL policies will also be ILLEGAL.

    Your only option will be to get GOVERNMENT health insurance.

    And guess what, OUR congressmen and senators won't be getting THAT version of GOVERNMENT health care, so why should we???

    *** WAKE UP AMERICA ***

    July 16, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. Marty, Grand Rapids Mi

    First of all, single payer is the only way we can truly reduce the cost of health care in a significant way.

    That being said, if the government plan premiums are not going up (because they can spend 95 cents on the dollar on medical costs) and employer premiums are going up (because only 78 cents on the dollar goes to medical costs, they need to pay wall street), then why wouldn't employers jump ship to the government plan and save money? Wouldn't this reduce the cost per person and/or force private insurance companies to reduce their profit margin so they can remain competitive? I thought that was the whole point of a government plan. This analysis doesn't seem to add up.

    July 16, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  10. Jesse

    Come on that cannot be true. Whenever the government has stepped it has worked so well. I mean take our stimulus. Obama said we would create 4 milion jobs and we have lost 2.6 million since then. Government is always the answer to these idiots and they are never right.

    July 16, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. Candy West Virginia

    Why are republicans willing to spend trillions on a war or bailing out banks or even rebuilding a foreign country yet don't want to spend a dime on American citizens?

    July 16, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Bold move

    At least someone is being realistic about the UHC plan

    July 16, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    I'm a little baffled by something.

    In an ad against taxing sugar-based drinks, it says "Taxes don't make people healthy".

    But, a few months ago when tobacco tax rates were raised, it was to "Make people healthy".

    Can someone explain?

    July 16, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. Jeff in Atlanta

    Oh oh. Guess that guy will be out of a job soon, career ruined, etc by the obama secret service.
    Let's just watch how they go after Elmendorf for having a mind of his own. Nice to have someone with enough brains and backbone to talk about reality rather than just talk, ie obama.

    July 16, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. Bobsy

    This is going to be comical...watching liberals spin this one

    July 16, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. DoneWithDems

    The health reform bills released so far would increase government spending on health care without sufficiently reining in health care costs.

    But by all means let's rush it through!!

    Lord, help us........

    July 16, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. johnnie

    The CBO is so (BOGUS) they are (GOP) controlled, their time is about up, The (Republicans) are not (SLICK) they dont have the (power) they use to have to (manipulate) numbers. I would to see how many (republicans ) run that branch. The (CBO) in in concert with the (rite wing conspiracy) Douglas Emendorf i betca is an (right winger) come on (CNN) research that (GUY).. The (CBO) has been in the (republicans) pockett for a long time. And (CNN) knows this will create a stir of emails ,from that false network crowd,(FOX NEWS). The Health is the best thing to happen to america, dont fall for the (LIES). The (CBO) is tool of (RIGHT WING AGENDAS).No matter it going to (PASS) The CBO is a (JOKE)..........

    July 16, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. sifto77

    The democrats are trying to pad the pockets of their supporters, the lawyers, while planning to screw the doctors. When they decide to regulate the lawyers since it is our "right" to be represented equally–that is when I will take them seriously. I hope every American is prepared to do their own heart surgery–because you won't have anyone left after Obama is through with the health care system. I am an RN and I do NOT support this health care fiasco. I resent Obama standing before the cameras lying and saying he has Nurse support. HE DOES NOT. We are not all part of the liberal lemming set. If he has support of a few "association, union nurses" that is their problem..Do not paint us all with the same brush. We are not all "union lemmings"!

    July 16, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    What wrong with health care reform. need to take medical treatment and prescription out of insurance company hand and let the doctor do their job. Because sometime the doctor will write a prescription or a treatment but you can have or they want do it not coved by insurance. The hospital are losing money to uninsured. They should do a study on how money hospital lose a year on this. Like President Obama say "if you have insurance and like it keep".

    July 16, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. Stuffit

    Oops! Somebody's mis representin'

    July 16, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. Lisa, Saugus MA

    What does it take Congress when your own budget office says your plan isn't going to be effective?

    I think Republicans who are thinking of signing on to this bill better think twice. When this hits the fan (and it appears that it will), the American people will only blame those who passed this....democrats!

    I am an independent who voted for Obama. My kool-aid must have been spiked with something and now that I am more clear headed again, I can see that Experience should have prevailed over charm and bloom of inexperience.

    I want lower health care just like the next guy does but come on...if it means taxing us more and not even having our premiums lowered with the possibllity of having to stand in long lines for care is nuts. I also heard on CNN that the plan offered by the president will still leave some 39 million without coverage. What's that all about?

    July 16, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. Obama Victim

    let's review please......does not lower cost............huge tax increases to pay for it.....rationed care...and it does not even cover everyone............so this is a good idea because??????????

    July 16, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. Tom

    Hahaha. I've known this from Day 1. The sad fact is that the Democrat leadership and Obama would still pass the bill, no matter what the cost, as they care more of pushing the agenda than the consequences.

    Sadly, some folks still believe in the fairy tale of the 'free lunch.'

    I agree that the health-care system needs reform, but what about tort reform? Allowing liberty-conscious Americans to buy health-insurance across state lines (why is this illegal?)? Not using the tax code to tie health-insurance to employment, which penalizes those self-employed and those jobless?

    July 16, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. Fair is Fair

    Is this really a surprise???

    Before the left wing goes off on the phantom $150 Billion in medicare and medicaid reimbursements that the Obama adminstration says it "negotiated", please consider this – physicians and hospitals accepting medicare / medicaid payments are breaking even with these payments – AT BEST. In order to recoup another $150 Billion, the healthcare providers (doctors, hospitals, pharmacies) are just going to do what they've always done, which is cost shift to holders of private insurance. Simply put, if they don't, they won't be able to practice medicine.

    And before the left wing goes off on those "greedy, for-profit insurance companies", please consider this. Insurance of ANY kind, be it health, auto, or homeowners, is by definition a contract whereby the parties involved share RISK. The insured pays premiums as his or her part of the deal, and the insurance company provides payments, sometimes more than the premiums received, sometimes less, as their part of the deal. So tell me – who here is willing to play the part of the insurance company, accepting this RISK, without a profit motive?

    July 16, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. TangledThorns

    Ugh, this reform is only here to appease the Lefties, nothing more. It'll ruin all the quality care we currently have without reducing costs.

    July 16, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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