Whoops: CBO Slams Pelosicare, No Cost Savings

Nancy Pelosi

So much for the idea that the new healthcare proposal — which we don’t think is anywhere close to getting at the root of the program — will allow us to save money.

The non-partisan CBO has slammed the bill, saying it will increase costs and weaken the economy.


This is actually really surprising, since just a few days ago there were reports about how the CBO was set to give Pelosicare a really good score.

Jonathan Cohn of TNR had this “Exclusive” just three days ago:

A lot of conservative Democrats, not to mention Republicans, express two big concerns about health reform. They’re worried that reform will cost too much. And they don’t want a government-run insurance plan.

It’s about to get a lot harder to make those two arguments simultaneously.

According to a pair of Capitol Hill sources, preliminary estimates from the Congressional Budget Office suggest that a strong public option–the kind that the House of Representatives is putting in its reform bill–should net somewhere in the neighbourhood of $150 billion in savings over 10 years.

Whoops, that turned out to be wrong.

Meanwhile, Ezra Klein — a supporter of the Democrats’ plan — has a whole list of caveats and reasons to discount the “least suprising revelation of the day.”

Update: This is funny, from WSJ:

[CBO Director] Mr. Elmendorf went on to say that there is widespread support among health analysts for taxing health care benefits as a way to reduce federal outgoings on health care.

Taxing individuals’ health care benefits is extremely unpopular among many Democratic lawmakers.

Asked about the assessment, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), quipped that Mr. Elmendorf should consider running for Congress.

We take that last line to mean, roughly: Honesty is a luxury afforded those who don’t need to run for office.

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