KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama Administration Disputes Government Report On Reform’s Higher Costs

Administration officials quickly rejected a new analysis that found "the nation's medical costs will keep spiraling upward even faster than they are now under Democratic legislation pending in the House," the Associated Press reports.

The AP added: "Republicans said the report is a warning sign that health care legislation is likely to fall short of President Barack Obama's goal of 'bending the cost curve' by slowing torrid rates of medical inflation. The Obama administration immediately challenged the analysis, saying it is out of date. ... The report from the Office of the Actuary, which does long-range cost estimates for Medicare, carried an unusual disclaimer, saying that it 'does not represent an official position' of Health and Human Services or the rest of the administration" (Alonso-Zaldivar, 10/21).

"While health spending as a share of gross domestic product would grow to 20.8% under current law, the study found that the House bill would cause it to grow to 21.3% of GDP," Dow Jones Newswires/Wall Street Journal reports. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., said the changes "will only make the situation worse," while Rep. Pete Stark called it "incomplete and out of date relative to what will ultimately be voted on in the House of Representatives" (Yoest and Vaughan, 10/21).

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