–Peter J. Pitts is President of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest. The views expressed are his own. –
Today, the Congressional Budget Office released its latest estimate of the price tag of the Democrats’ health reform package. At $940 billion, this version of reform will cost more than the measures passed by the House and Senate late last year. More is not always better.
CBO also says the bill will reduce the deficit by $130 billion over the next 10 years and by $1.2 trillion over the following decade. That’s right. It will reduce the deficit by significantly increasing federal spending. Only in America.
While they’re at it, they should also predict the weather for the next decade.
Let’s face it: Uncle Sam has a poor track record of forecasting how much new programs will cost. Medicare’s progenitors, for example, stated in 1967 that the entitlement would cost $12 billion by 1990. Actual Medicare spending in 1990 amounted to $110 billion — nearly 10 times the initial estimate. Oops.