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Think tank

Been awhile since I've updated the "Think Tank" sidebar. My apologies.

1) The Commonwealth Fund thinks that the House and Senate health-care bills will save a lot more money than the CBO is projecting.

2) The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities takes a look at recent history and finds that Congress generally sticks to the Medicare reforms it passes. Sorry, haters. Also, I interviewed one of the report's authors here.

30) The Urban Institute has the best overview I've read of the public option, both the one that advocates want and the compromises they're likely to get.

4) The Congressional Budget Office assesses the impact health-care reform is likely to have on on individual premiums. Summary here.

5) The Carnegie Institute looks at the lessons Copenhagen's negotiators can take from past efforts to produce global trade agreements.

By Ezra Klein  |  December 7, 2009; 3:49 PM ET
Categories:  Think Tank  
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Next: Department of bad graphs


The Commonwealth report is good in the sense that it explains many of the delivery reforms, but bad in believing any of these will save any money in the next 10 years. And using Hewitt/Business Roundtable data--unforgiveable.

It also estimates that even the weak public option would save $800 billion in the second decade, but that little fact didn't get much play. Imagine that.

Posted by: bmull | December 7, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"Sorry, haters"

Have you forgotten you write for the Washington Post?

Posted by: SisterRosetta | December 7, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

A couple of things on the center for budget and policy priorities.

first, fact is that SGR is an issue for the healthcare entitlement bill of 2010, and we all know the numbers are manipulated to make the bills look budget neutral (i.e. not include doc fix).

second, there is plenty of cost shifting from the government to the private sector.

third, BBRA and BIPA are constant reminders that not all of the cuts from BBA 97 were ultimately enacted. The authors spin this as saying, well BBRA and BIPA eliminated only 25% of the cuts from BBA 97. Using this rule of thumb, if the senate bill fails to enact 25% of the Medicare cuts in the next ten years, you are going to get deficits. Also, a lot of the provisions in the senate and house bills are egghead economist assumptions (i.e. assume a can opener).

Fourth, the authors have conflicts of interest.

Fifth, cost of Medicare of the 1960s was completely underestimated. Moral hazard leads to out of control costs.

Sorry Ezra. Checkmate.
- Hater

Posted by: RandomWalk1 | December 7, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

To add to what Randomwalk said, the 1970s was the golden age of medicine where everybody got rich because it was all FFS. Medicare costs went up 10x. Since then the cuts have restored some sanity to the system, but further cuts are going to become progressively harder.

Posted by: bmull | December 8, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

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