No CBO Savings on Health Care
By Jacob Feldman
Monday, July 27, 2009 12:15 pm
The Congressional Budget Office has delivered yet another blow to the Democrats’ universal health care plan. In a letter addressed to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf wrote:
“The proposed legislation states that IMAC’s recommendations cannot generate increased Medicare expenditures, but it does not explicitly direct the council to reduce such expenditures nor does it establish any target for such reductions. … As proposed, the composition of the council could be weighted toward medical providers who might not be inclined to recommend cuts in payments to providers or significant changes to the delivery system. … In CBO’s judgment, the probability is high that no savings would be realized … CBO estimates that enacting the proposal, as drafted, would yield savings of $2 billion over the 2010–2019 period.”
$2 billion in savings leaves President Obama $237 billion short of his promise
that health care reform would not add “even one dime to our deficit over the next decade.” Since health care reform won’t result in savings for Americans, what should be expected?
Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund
reported that in addition to the young people and small businesses negatively affected by Obama’s health care reform, Health Saving Accounts (HSA) holders will take a heavy hit. John Fund writes:
“These policies will be severely limited. The Senate plan says a policy deemed ‘acceptable’ must have insurance (rather than the individual) pay out at least 76% of the benefits. The House plan is pegged at 70%. That’s not the way these plans are set up to work. Roy Ramthun, who implemented the HSA regulations at the Treasury Department in 2003, says the regulations are crippling. ‘Companies tell me they could be forced to take products off the market,’ he said in an interview.”
Regulating HSAs hurts Americans trying to save money for future medical expenses. Legislation should encourage HSAs in order to cultivate personal responsibility for health care expenditures, rather than relying on the government’s kindness.