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).
The CMS report is a blow to the White House and House Democrats who have vowed that healthcare reform would curb the growth of healthcare spending. 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.
However, the CMS analysis clearly states that the House bill falls short in attaining a key goal of the Democrats’ effort to reform the nation’s healthcare system: “With the exception of the proposed reduction in Medicare… the provisions of H.R. 3962 would not have a significant impact on future healthcare cost growth rates.”
Republicans immediately seized on CMS’s conclusions.
The long-awaited report should serve as a “stark warning to every Republican, Democrat and Independent worried about the future of this nation,” Ways and Means Committee ranking member Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said in a statement on Saturday.
Though House Republicans pressed to have this analysis completed before the lower chamber voted on the Democrats’ sweeping healthcare reform bill last week, it was not ready until late Friday. Chief CMS Actuary Richard Foster, who prepared the report, recently told The Hill that he and his staff had only a few days to review the bill before it was voted on.
Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) highlighted the report on Saturday in a written statement. “This report once again discredits Democrats’ assertions that their $1.3 trillion government takeover of health care will lower costs, and it confirms that this bill violates President Obama’s promise to ‘bend the cost curve.’ It’s now beyond dispute that their bill will raise costs, which is exactly what the American people don’t want.”
Republicans predicted that if the CMS numbers were available last Saturday when the House voted on the Democrats’ healthcare bill, the measure would not have passed.
“This report confirms what virtually every independent expert has been saying: Speaker Pelosi’s healthcare bill will increase costs, not decrease them. I hope my colleagues in the Senate heed CMS’ findings and refuse to rush ahead until any bill under consideration can be certified to actually reduce healthcare costs,” Camp said.
According to the 31-page report, the House-passed bill would increase costs, cut Medicare and expand Medicaid.
“In aggregate, we estimate that for calendar years 2010 through 2019 [national health expenditures] would increase by $289 billion,” the report notes.
Estimated Financial Effects of the “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009” (H.R. 3962), as Passed by the House on November 7, 2009
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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
/then again, the Democrats really don’t care about how much it costs, all they care about is expanding and entrenching their political power
Filed under: Blog Entry | Tagged: America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, CBO, Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services, Chief Actuary, CMS, Congressional Budget Office, Cost Curve, Dave Camp, Democrats, H.R. 3962, H.R.3200, Health Care, Health Care Legislation, Health Care Reform, House Ways And Means Committee, JCT, John Boehner, Joint Committee On Taxation, Medicaid, Medicare, Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, Republicans, Richard Foster, U.S. House of Representatives | Leave a comment »