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Weiner's single payer amendment to be CBO-scored


I called 202.225.6616 and thanked him. So should you!

This is patient, real, unglamorous work. Not showhorse MR. SUBLIMINAL Alan Grayson but workhorse.

Again, yay!

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

this is going to be big!

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

and this is what I asked my Congressman for, months ago. The form letter I got back didn't even mention Congressman Weiner, just "my constituents overwhelmingly reject a government takeover of healthcare."

Oh, and then about two weeks ago we had an announcement. My Congressman had been diagnosed (early, and successfully treated a couple days later. Who says power and money aren't a big part of longevity in the USA?) with prostate cancer.

So, Mr. Congressman, why is it fair for you to get this class-A healthcare and my next door neighbor, who drives a truck for a living, not to be able to afford an annual checkup, and should it find such a problem, exactly the same life-saving care on exactly the same life-saving pace, with exactly the same out of pocket expenses, as you?

Why, 'cause his name's Gonzales, not Neugebauer, of course.

(stomps off, swearing ....)

selise's picture
Submitted by selise on

the cbo has been scoring only for fed budget impact. nothing cost to private sector (households and employers) or state and local govs. as a result we don't know how much obamacare (or rather any of the bills now under consideration in congress) is going to add to total national healthcare expenditures (i expect it's going to be a lot) -- or how much hr 676 could save compared to obamacare.

i just can't believe this is by accident - the cbo does what the congressional leadership request.

btw, in the last few days i've corrected chris bowers on this point three times (he keeps referring to the fed costs scored by cbo as "total costs." but, to no avail or even response. it's a really important point because when the cbo scoring comes in for hr 676 if it's done in the same way, it will probably look very bad (because the financing all goes through the fed gov instead of those nasty insurance companies).

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

because all of the cost of single payer is on the federal government and that's the only part that gets scored. The overall savings to Americans, who would pay less in taxes to cover single payer than they pay to insurers, is "irrelevant" to the CBO.

I do think we're getting this because single payer activism is having an impact. It's just that the results will be a high CBO score that they can use against single payer. It's not designed to help us, but to hurt us.

Although I'm beginning to believe that they are fucked in the long run on this issue because you can't fake healthcare policy. Anything that doesn't lower Americans' costs is going to be a huge political FAIL. So let them bring it on. We're the only ones offering the one thing Americans truly want - lower healthcare costs. And the demand for that isn't going to go away because of the piece of shit they're looking at passing.

Submitted by hipparchia on

isn't normally done on a bill until it passes out of committee and becomes eligible for a floor vote, which is one reason why pelosi's offering to give single payer a floor vote was a win for our side. while there is much back and forth tealeaf reading on whether she punked weiner with this move, it did effectively move hr 676 out of committee, which is the first time that's ever happened.

technically a bill doesn't have to make it all the way out of committee, any congresscritter can request a cbo score at any time, but that doesn't usually happen unless a bill has at least a very good chance of coming up for a vote.

Submitted by hipparchia on

are honest [even though, at best, they're really only educated guesses].

their immediate purpose is for the congress critters to get an estimate of how much their proposed legislation will cost the federal government. this is so that they'll know whether [and if so, by how much] they'll need to raise taxes to pay for whatever laws they pass.

i'd like to see this talk of honest/dishonest cbo scores go away.

selise's picture
Submitted by selise on

i have no reason to doubt the actual numbers from cbo, or the results as they report them. it's the way the numbers are being used -- by congress and reporters -- because the fed costs are almost always taken as total costs. it's not just about knowing how much taxes are to be raised, it's also being used as a way to compare different plans or how much it's going to cost to insure people.

when used in those ways (other than to plan for taxes), the overall effect is imo dishonest because it is misleading. all congress has to do is request the cbo report more fully, or alternatively make clear when they talk about the cbo reports that they don't know total cost (and component details), the report is only fed cost.

i am really curious how much obamacare is going to increase total national healthcare expenditures. if $2.7 trillion and 17% of gdp is a problem (or whatever the current data is, i've lost track), shouldn't we care how reform may impact those numbers?

as far as i can tell, the cbo did more complete reports during the clintoncare debates. some of them are listed here:


anyway, hipparchia, if you have any alternative suggestions for me on how to discuss the issue -- something that both conveys my outrage and avoids the use of "dishonest" -- i'd be happy to reconsider.

Submitted by lambert on

"As usual, CBO scoring is used to mislead..."

"The usual suspects conflate CBO scores with total costs...."

The scores can be honest, while the process in which they are embedded is deeply dishonest.

I'd try to rework CBO into a clever acronym. like Cost Before Obfuscation, but it's too early.