President Obama Joins In Chorus Of Complaints About CBO Figures
President Barack Obama joins the chorus of Democrats who criticize Congressional Budget Office numbers and claim that their analyses estimates aren't fair. The criticism comes after the agency provided $1 to $1.6 trillion estimates for two of the Democrats' draft health care reform bills.
ABC News reports on the question of whether President Obama will dismiss whatever price tag the CBO eventually attaches to the final version of the congressional Democrats' proposal: "The reason politicians and their staffers are wondering is because for the first time, last night the president expressed frustration at the way CBO long regarded as a fair and non-partisan arbiter makes its analyses."
Some Democrats, such as Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., expressed frustration that the CBO doesn't factor in cost-savings from prevention programs or their other health benefits. Meanwhile, President Obama also talked about the CBO estimates and "promised that 'about two-thirds of the cost would be covered by reallocating dollars that are already in the health care system -- taxpayers are already paying for it -- but it's not going to stuff that's making you healthier.' Roughly a third more 'will come from new revenue' a tax increase on wealthier individuals." He also noted that the hard figures don't "count all the savings that may come from prevention, may come from eliminating all the paperwork and bureaucracy because we've put forward health IT, it doesn't come from the evidence-based care and changes in reimbursement that I've already discussed about. ... The CBO, which sort of polices what all various programs cost, they're not willing to credit us with those savings" (Tapper, 6/25).