Critical Condition

More Telling CBO Responses From This Morning

To say that CBO director Doug Elmendorf provided little reassurance this morning regarding the cost of the Baucus bill would be a gross understatement. In fact, Elmendorf seemed unable to say much of anything at all about what the bill would or would not do.

Will it bend the cost curve down?:

“We have not evaluated the effects of the proposal on national health expenditures either within the 10-year window or beyond that window.”

Will health care spending be a higher or lower percentage of the GDP if Baucus bill passes?:

“We have not had an opportunity to develop an answer to that.”

Will the Baucus bill hurt Medicare recipients?:

“The Effect of those provisions on access to care is very uncertain.  … We have focused on the budgetary effects.”