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January 5th, 2010 1:04 pm
CBO: The Political Budget Office

“As the nation patiently waits for perhaps the final cost estimate of President Obama’s health care plan, taxpayers might be surprised to learn that today the most powerful office in Washington, D.C. is not the Speaker’s office or the Oval Office, but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).”

So writes Sam Batkins, CFIF’s Director of Public Policy, in an op-ed published today on HumanEvents.com.

Batkins goes on to note:

At perhaps no time in history has a small bureaucratic agency wielded so much power, even though the science of pricing government legislation is far from perfect. …

…Budget projections for health care vary greatly and, more often than not, vastly underestimate actual expenditures.

The Joint Economic Committee took note of the speculative nature of health care cost estimates. In a July 2009 paper, it determined that the original cost estimate for Medicare HI was off by 744%; the Medicare program as a whole came in 917% over original estimates and the Medicaid DHS program exceeded original scores by 1700%. Washington’s crystal ball tends to cloud when projecting future health care costs.

Recognizing that Congressional Democrats have become “crafty” at manipulating CBO scores, Batkins explains how they are using “an accounting sleight-of-hand that even Bernie Madoff would envy” to make their plan for a government takeover of health care appear more palatable. 

Batkins concludes the piece by writing:

Since health care entitlements never seem to go away, the affect on taxpayers has been either more debt or higher taxes.  Expect both if the Obama-Pelosi-Reid health care reform plan is ultimately passed.

Read the piece in its entirety here.

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