December 24th, 2009
07:41 AM ET
9 years ago

Will the Senate health bill tame costs?

New York ( - The health care reform bill approved by the Senate on Thursday would do more than any proposal yet to reduce the deficit over time – by an estimated $132 billion over 10 years and by substantially more thereafter.

But reducing the deficit is not entirely synonymous with the oft-stated goal of health reform: reducing the growth rate in health care costs and expenditures – often referred to as "bending the cost curve."

That growth rate is what drives federal spending on Medicare and other federal health programs.

And it's what budget experts say will pummel the federal budget in future years if nothing is done to change it.

So how would the Senate bill fare in bending the cost curve from the perspective of the federal budget? The short answer is the ever-unsatisfying "it depends."

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Filed under: Health care
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    This SO-CALLED healthcare insurance reform is, in essence, a TAX INCREASE IN DISGUISE. In reality, tax increases do NOT reduce deficits. They only encourage power-hungry politicians to spend more wrecklessly. Anyone who believes that this is going to reduce the deficit is a FOOL!!

    December 24, 2009 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  2. TCM

    A better question is "Have they ever tamed ANY costs yet?"

    Libtards like Pelosi, Reid, Dodd...they're all about spreading the wealth around...espeically from the working class to the long as it doesn't affect their personal finances. Liberals are scum of the lowest level.

    December 24, 2009 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  3. gary

    This bill will reduce the budget deficit and it was done without any help from the Doom ang Gloom Party.

    December 24, 2009 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  4. m jeff

    This is a step in the right direction, the status quo days are over, but only a public option will control cost, because the Insurance industry is run by crooks.

    December 24, 2009 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  5. unemployed by Obama

    The revolution against unfair taxes and to DESEAT those who have broken their oath of office based on the constitution will start and we will throw out all the bums, We will see how you like unemployment. I will not pay for osamacare because it is unconstitutional.

    December 24, 2009 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  6. Steve, New York City

    Whether or not one agrees with the health care overhaul, it will be good to have this issue out of the way. . .
    . . .I'd really like for someone to explain why college tuition MASSIVELY increases every single year, with no good reason. We have to stop these "scam artists" lest we become a nation where only the wealthy have access to higher education.

    December 24, 2009 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  7. Mike

    This is truly a heartbreaking occurance. While the people of Iran are dying in the streets for the meer hope of freedom, we are surrendering ours to the government. With almost every decision we make we are reinforceing the third worlds belief that we no longer deserve to be a world leader. Say hello to the brave new world comrade,

    December 24, 2009 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  8. phoenix86

    Democrats are undertaking the largest spending / borrowing / tax increase in history. The result will be the surpassing of the US economy by either the EU or China (perhaps both).

    Demcrats have set America on a course of permanent decline.

    December 24, 2009 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  9. shmeckell

    I haven’t read the Senate's bill, but this story talks a lot about reducing federal deficit and federal spending, but it never mentions reducing healthcare costs for individuals. Please tell me there is more to this story.

    December 24, 2009 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  10. Scott, Tucson

    Yeah right! obamacare will run in the black like the U.S. Postal System, or Social Security does. Name one governmental agency that ever ran a profit or break even?

    December 24, 2009 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  11. james darnley

    like i have been saying i would be willing to give 10 dollars every year towards health care at tax time from now till the day i die and if every american did the same that would be a hell of alot of money towards health care 10 dollars from every tax paying american starting next year and for the next 50 years if need be.,

    December 24, 2009 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  12. Mike in VA

    No. It's not about health care or taming costs. It's about government control over it's people.

    December 24, 2009 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  13. ib

    This is just another far left spending bill that is being rammed down our throats. When the actual facts come out on this thing people that supported it are going to be very disappointed I think. Our only hope for this country is to take it back in the 2010 elections if we have anything to take back by then. I'm beginning to wonder if we will.

    December 24, 2009 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  14. Silence Dogoode

    Nope....make it worse...placed the federal gov in charge of our bodies and gutted the US Constitution.....thanks and Merry (**%*% Christmas.

    December 24, 2009 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  15. Ricky Atlanta

    Not without a public option...

    December 24, 2009 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  16. Liberals=NoSense

    Listen to me you liberal nut jobs...This is my money and I've worked hard for it. Keep your hands out of my wallet!!!!!

    December 24, 2009 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  17. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    According to Jim DeMint. . .Sorry, I am still laughing at that inept boob. He supports Mittens Romney's health plan in Massachusetts, but is opposed to any similar federal initiatives.
    Jimbo is also a supporter of thenmilitary coups in Honduras that threw out the elected president there. Yesterday, he and Ensign were trying to point out that social programs were unconstitutional. Can you say, "Buh,bye, social security and medicare?"
    And to think, he is the front running tea bagger candidate for president in 2012.

    December 24, 2009 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  18. Carl Abernathy

    We are told that we need to destroy the nasty, greedy insurance companies. Lo and behold, we are now required to support the nasty, greedy insurance companies by law.
    What's with democraps anyway? They change their tune day by day and put the US at great economic risk, ever increasing. And all they care about in DC is another TV event beating themselves on the back about how great they are when in actuality they are destroying the private lives of the citizens of the US.

    December 24, 2009 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  19. snood

    it depends what kinda answer is that? if you cant say yes then its a bad bill. this is just a insurance mandate and nothing more. does it bring down the hospital visit cost . or prescription cost and how about the cost of the insurance will it cost the same as my MN state mandated car insurance? its a bad BILL.

    December 24, 2009 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  20. File under "Sarcasm"

    What a piece of crap this story is! Did you get a talking points memo from Rahm Emanuel to publish?

    The savings of $132 billion is a fairy tale based on ten years of tax income for seven years of cost outlay and $500 billion in cuts to Medicare funding which will never be enforced. Five years from now, healthcare costs will be 50% higher, healthcare service, quality and innovation will be reduced, and Medicare and the US Treasury will be broke, all because of this legislation and the unbelievable bribes it contains to get it passed.

    December 24, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  21. alvinmurphy422

    reporter has attended the university of slow learners.

    healthcare collects taxes for 10 years pays benefits for 6 years.

    kind of like buying a car and start making payments.
    dealer says you can pick up your 2010 model in 2014 or maybe 2015.
    reporter you are dumb.

    December 24, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  22. Anonymous

    This would have been a good analysis a week ago because it would have allowed people to look at the legislation before it was voted on. Truth detector stories on all the claims from the dems would have been appropriate and standard reporting if this was a big republican initiative. CNN and the other MSM have not been reporting honestly about this mess of a bill and we won't hear the real details untill its been signed into law by the President.

    The polls don't show any support for what we've heard is in the bill but the Dems don't care, they will ram anything through no matter what and call it a victory. The whole thing is a scam and needs to be repealled after the elections of 2010 when the American people get a chance to weigh in on what they really want.

    Nov. 2010 can't come fast enough.

    December 24, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. Jamey Columbus

    Notice how there is virtually no difference between a family make 70k and 200k... Thank you obama...

    December 24, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. Speaking for Liberals

    Will the Senate Bill tame health care costs?
    I have a better question. like to hear it? Hear it goes!
    Can CNN ask a 'yes or no' question in the headline and fail to answer that very same question in the report?
    The answer to all of the questions posed in this commentary is a resounding YES!

    I love freedom of speech...don't you?

    December 24, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  25. j

    No, it's not going to tame costs. the Senate bill is a win for the insurance companies. It doesn't go far enough to help those without insurance and the mandate is not acceptable. I don't see how any progressive democrat could vote for it as it now stands. This is a boondoggle in the making.

    December 24, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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