The Congressional Budget office is not afraid of being reported to the president’s thought police at Flag@whitehouse.gov. For at least the third time, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has dealt a blow to Obamacare.
Congressman Nathan Deal, ranking member on the
Subcommittee on Health,Committee on Energy and Commerce wanted to know if expanding governmental support for preventive medical care and wellness services would lower overall health costs, if they did and should those lower costs be factored into the CBO estimates
CBO director Douglas Elmendorf replied to Deal but not the answer he was looking for:
Preventive medical care includes services such as cancer screening, cholesterol management, and vaccines. In making its estimates of the budgetary effects of expanded governmental support for preventive care, CBO takes into account any estimated savings that would result from greater use of such care as well as the estimated costs of that additional care. Although different types of preventive care have different effects on spending, the evidence suggests that for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall.
Preventative services are performed on everyone greatly increasing costs:
To avert one case of acute illness, it is usually necessary to provide preventive care to many patients, most of whom would not have suffered that illness anyway. Even when the unit cost of a particular preventive service is low, costs can accumulate quickly when a large number of patients are treated preventively.Judging the overall effect on medical spending requires analysts to calculate not just the savings from the relatively few individuals who would avoid more expensive treatment later, but also the costs for the many who would make greater use of preventive care. As a result, preventive care can have the largest benefits relative to costs when it is targeted at people who are most likely to suffer from a particular medical problem; however, such targeting can be difficult because preventive services are generally provided to patients who have the potential to contract a given disease but have not yet shown symptoms of having it.
And then there is that other pesky little problem for Obamacare, preventative medicine will make grandma and grandpa live longer:
A further consideration affecting the budgetary impact of proposals is that some types of preventive care may increase longevity. Of course, that effect reinforces the desirability of such care, but it also could add to federal spending in the long run: Social Security outlays rise when people live longer, and Medicare outlays may rise because, even if a preventive service lowers a beneficiary’s risk of one illness, a longer lifespan allows for more time to incur other health care expenses associated with age.
Click here forthe full letter:
This come on top of two other CBO reports, in mid-July CBO director Douglas Elmendorf said bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose “the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount.” Though President Obama and Democratic leaders had constantly said that controlling the skyrocketing growth in spending on government health programs such as Medicaid and Medicare is their top priority, the reform measures put forth so far would not fulfill their pledge to “bend the cost curve” downward, Elmendorf said. Instead, he said, “The curve is being raised.”
Last week, the CBO analysis of a White House/Congressional proposal to give an independent panel the power to keep Medicare spending in check, reported the panel idea would save a measly $2 billion over 10 years. Its not often one can call $2 billion measly, however the term is appropriate when its an offset to help pay for a $1-1.6 trillion Obamacare bill.
It seems as if every scheme the Democrats come up with the reduce the cost of Health Care gets shot down by the CBO, sounds fishy to me. After all the Democrats would not come up with programs that they know would raise costs, just to socialize medicine, would they? The CBO should be reported to the Flag people today!
The folks at Hot Air have found that the CBO estimate of Obamacare Costs was underestimated by $1 Trillion Dollars. Click Here for that story.