Former HHS secretary Mike Leavitt has a useful op-ed in today’s Washington Times in which he points out the difficulty of keeping health proposals budget neutral. His experience shows that costs are typically underestimated while savings are usually overstated, which makes it almost impossible to keep new programs within budget projections. The cut side is especially difficult, given the political realities on the Hill. As Secretary Leavitt notes, he “took a budget to Capitol Hill containing half the reductions the president says Congress must make, and I was politically stoned by those in his party and many in mine.”
— Tevi Troy, deputy secretary of health and human services from 2007 to 2009, is a visiting senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.