White House Says New CBO Estimates Do Not Signify High Health Spending
"The new healthcare law doesn't include more spending and less deficit reduction than previously reported, an Obama administration official said Wednesday," The Hill reports. "Instead, a letter released by the Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday 'simply updates' the calculation of the size of discretionary authorizations included in the legislation, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag said today in his blog." Earlier this week, Republicans "touted the updated estimate as a we-told-you-so increase of $115 billion in spending, which Orszag said is wrong to conclude. He reiterated that the law will reduce deficits by more than $100 billion this decade and more than $1 trillion in the following 10 years" (Needham, 5/12).
The Associated Press: The CBO "says that about $86 billion of that [$115 billion] total represents funding for ongoing programs, which analysts routinely assume will be continued from year to year. Those programs include grants to community health centers and Indian health care" (5/12).