• The Republican Commissioned CMS Report

    My inbox is filled with questions (and screams) about the CMS report discussed at length in the news over the weekend:

    The House-approved healthcare overhaul would raise the costs of healthcare by $289 billion over the next 10 years, according to an analysis by the chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

    Of course, many ignored the next paragraph in the story:

    CMS’s analysis is not an apples-to-apples comparison to the cost estimate conducted by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) because CMS did not review tax provisions, which help offset the price tag of the Democrats’ measure.

    Once again, the overall cost of the bill goes up if you ignore the other provisions in the bill which compensate to bring the cost down.

    You know what, though?  I don’t care about this; it’s just noise.  You will notice that I am not arguing with the central premise of the article, which is that the price of care is going to go up.  I have been saying for as long as anyone will listen to me that this bill is not going to do much to contain the costs of health care.  That is different than the cost of insurance to the average American.  It’s entirely different than trying to achieve universal coverage.  Trying to achieve universal coverage and contain costs at the same time is tricky, and impossible with incremental reforms that allow most of the health care system to remain unchanged.

    Of course, the rational response to this would be to put things in the bill to reduce the costs of health care.  Scrapping the bill entirely will do NOTHING to bring down these costs.  If you really care about those costs, add in some of the provisions that have already been removed that might achieve just that.

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