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CBO Opines on Industry Cost-Saving Suggestions

By June 18, 2009November 2nd, 2009Commentary

In a brief letter in response to a Congressman’s request, the Congressional Budget Office has responded to the proposals by several health industry segments to create cost savings of up to two trillion dollars over ten years.  (CBO Letter) The CBO basically said it could not determine what, if any savings, most of the proposals would generate since they were not very specific.  It did note that several were identical to proposals CBO had previously analysed as offering at most $100 billion over ten years, while some would increase spending, like covering prescription drugs for all citizens.  The short-shrift given by the CBO to the proposals is appropriate.  If the health care industry wants to be taken seriously, it needs to put forward much more specific steps with some mechanisms to enforce the cost savings.  Otherwise, it deserves the jaundiced reactions to the proposals, however well intentioned they may have been.

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