Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), who ruled single-payer “off the table” before he even started considering healthcare reform, is now pressuring the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to favorably judge his health plan as financially sound–even though it isn’t.
According to CongressDaily (2/25), Baucus, other lawmakers, and “some special interest groups have not been particularly pleased with what they view as CBO’s conservative scoring of some supposed cost-cutting efforts that are needed to help offset the enormous price tag” of overhauling the healthcare system under the Baucus plan.
Baucus said if healthcare reform is to pass, the CBO needs to “get ever more creative to find … pathways to get the savings that we have to have” (Edney, CongressDaily, 2/25).
Baucus told the head of CBO last Wednesday that the CBO will play a significant role in efforts to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system because the agency’s cost assessments will “make or break this enterprise.” Experienced observers assert that this is Baucus’ way of pressuring the agency to come up with figures to justify the kind of healthcare reform Baucus wants.
The fact is, the CBO has issued a series of recent studies which have found that most savings claimed, in the effort to keep private-for-profit insurance companies in the mix, do not exist.
Alternatively, a single-payer system would save more than $350 billion per year, enough to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans.
The CBO has been recognized for the accuracy of its findings and projections and for its non-partisanship. Let’s keep it that way.
Tell him we need accurate numbers not creative figuring. Single-payer should be on the table and should be given a full and fair hearing by the Senate Finance Committee.
Easily email Sen. Baucus here, or contact him using the following information.
Senator Max Baucus
511 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-2651 (Office)
(202) 224-9412 (Fax)
For more on Baucus’ creative statistics, see DrSteveB’s Daily KOS article.