NEW ANALYSES SHOW HEALTH REFORM CRITICAL TO COST CONTAINMENT
March 10, 2010
Contact: Madeline Meth
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Two new policy memos released today by the Center for American Progress highlight the importance of enacting health care reform in addressing the nation’s federal budget deficit and reining in the health care costs that are crushing America’s families, businesses, and our overall economy.
“The Math Is Clear,” by Associate Director for Tax and Budget Policy Michael Linden, poses the question: “Anyone concerned about our long-term budget situation but opposed to the current health reform effort must answer this simple question: In the absence of health care reform, what other policies do you support that will reduce the deficit by at least $1 trillion over the next two decades?”
“The Strengths of the Senate Health Reform Bill,” by Director of Health Policy Karen Davenport, explains that “Members of Congress who are weighing how to balance concerns about the long-term growth of the federal budget deficit, the exponential growth of health care costs, and the clear need for health system reform should consider the Senate health reform bill’s significant strengths.”
Summaries and links to the full memos below.
The Math Is Clear
Reducing Our Long-Term Federal Budget Deficit Means Enacting Comprehensive Health Care Reform Now
By Michael Linden | March 10, 2010
Download this memo (pdf)
The health care reform plans that are currently before Congress take the first step toward getting off of our current path and onto a more sustainable one. They do not solve the entire problem, but the plans do offer tens of billions of dollars worth of direct deficit reduction plus the promise of billions of dollars more in savings as the efficiency and modernization provisions kick in.
Anyone concerned about our long-term budget situation but opposed to the current health reform effort must answer this simple question: In the absence of health care reform, what other policies do you support that will reduce the deficit by at least $1 trillion over the next two decades?
The following memo illustrates just how difficult a question that will be to answer. After first demonstrating that our future budgetary problems are driven primarily by health care spending, this memo describes the Herculean nature of trying to balance the budget without reforming the health care system. Finally, after briefly reviewing some estimates of actual deficit reduction that the health care reform legislation offers, the memo closes by comparing some other “options” for achieving similar levels of deficit reduction, but without health care reform.
The Strengths of the Senate Health Reform Bill
By Karen Davenport | March 10, 2010
Download this memo (pdf)
Members of Congress who are weighing how to balance concerns about the long-term growth of the federal budget deficit, the exponential growth of health care costs, and the clear need for health system reform should consider the Senate health reform bill’s significant strengths:
- Lower overall expenditures in tandem with deficit reduction
- New mechanisms for cost control that deliver immediate and long-term savings
- Delivery system reforms that engage private sector payers in lowering health care costs
- A stronger Medicare Part A trust fund that extends our ability to finance hospital care for seniors and people with disabilities
Each of these features will help provide the fiscal discipline we need to trim our nation’s health care costs to the needs of our society.
The Senate bill offers a strong platform for reducing the federal budget deficit and controlling the growth of health care costs while exposing taxpayers to less risk in terms of new federal investments in health care coverage. For members of Congress who care about fiscal discipline and controlling the growth of health care costs, this bill offers a clear path forward to systemic health reform.
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