Per ABC News, CBO Sees No Net Federal Cost Savings in Dem Health Plans:
One of the main arguments made by the President and others for investing in health reform now is that it will save the federal government money in the long run by containing costs.
Turns out that may not be the case, according to Doug Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Answering questions from Democrat Kent Conrad of North Dakota at a hearing of the Senate Budget Committee today, Elmendorf said CBO does not see health care cost savings in either of the partisan Democratic bills currently in Congress.
Conrad: Dr. Elmendorf, I am going to really put you on the spot because we are in the middle of this health care debate, but it is critically important that we get this right. Everyone has said, virtually everyone, that bending the cost curve over time is critically important and one of the key goals of this entire effort. From what you have seen from the products of the committees that have reported, do you see a successful effort being mounted to bend the long-term cost curve?
Elmendorf: No, Mr. Chairman. In the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount. And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs. . .
But changes we have looked at so far do not represent the fundamental change on the order of magnitude that would be necessary to offset the direct increase in federal health costs from the insurance coverage proposals.
Changes in the health care "system" should occur primarily because they either are, or are not, judged by America at large to be fairer and better. The fiction that "Obamacare" will save money should be dispensed with. It looks as though CBO is clear on that point.