I feel like … dancing down the aisle at a wedding or something.
A key House chairman and moderate House Democrats on Tuesday agreed to a White House-backed proposal that would give an outside panel the power to make cuts to government-financed health care programs. White House budget director Peter Orszag declared the plan “probably the most important piece that can be added” to the House’s health care reform legislation.
But on Saturday, the Congressional Budget Office said the proposal to give an independent panel the power to keep Medicare spending in check would only save about $2 billion over 10 years- a drop in the bucket compared to the bill’s $1 trillion price tag.
“In CBO’s judgment, the probability is high that no savings would be realized … but there is also a chance that substantial savings might be realized. Looking beyond the 10-year budget window, CBO expects that this proposal would generate larger but still modest savings on the same probabilistic basis,” CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf wrote in a letter to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Saturday.
The sweetest part of this? Obama tried to strong-arm the CBO the last time they sent up a red flag about what an awful boondoggle his pet program will turn out to be. Here’s what he gets for trying things “the Chicago way.” Meanwhile, Ace has a thoughtful post about the scam of setting up an independent body to cut health-care costs when that body (b) isn’t really independent and (b) therefore won’t really cut costs. I’ll borrow our exit question from him: Is our monstrous new federal bureaucracy aiming to be merely deficit-neutral or to actually reduce deficits over the long haul by *giggle* lowering overall health-care spending (Medicare included)? Let me be clear: The One hasn’t been clear.