On Sesame Street, he’s called the Count. In Washington, it’s called the Congressional Budget Office or CBO. Both are good at counting, but there’s a difference. On Sesame Street, everyone loves the Count. In Washington, many politicians grumble about the CBO’s counting.
On June 15th, the CBO responded to Sen. Edward Kennedy’s draft proposal for health care reform. Estimated increase in federal deficit over the next ten years: $1T. But wait – there’s more. The CBO estimates that 10% of those under 65 would still be uninsured. And there’s still lots more. Kennedy’s proposal had so many blanks and “I dunnos” in it that all the CBO could do was count the holes, acknowledging that it needed more information on a number of issues, many of which the CBO had specified in a paper last December.
On June 16th, the CBO sent a response to Republican Senators Kent Conrad and Judd Gregg about the impact of doing nothing. The short and sweet? The country has to do something to reform the system – and soon – before health care spending in this country becomes the Blob that ate the budget.
You can see a number of links to issues that the CBO considers key to resolving this complex problem at the health care policy page. We’re big kids now. We can figure this out as long as everyone doesn’t expect to get all they want. It’s the principle behind the founding of this country.