Health Care, The CBO, And Dishonesty

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on June 7, 2009

There is a reason why health care “reform” remains on the fast track. It has to do with the following paragraph on the way in which the Congressional Budget Office is scoring health care legislation:

Typically, the CBO scores legislation only after it has been finalized. But in a May 27 issue brief, the CBO took a proactive stance on budgetary treatment of proposals to change the nation’s health insurance system. A federal mandate requiring individuals to have a minimum amount of health insurance would not be counted as a government expense “because the federal government imposes a variety of mandates on private entities whose associated costs are not included in the budget,” said CBO director Douglas Elmendorf in a blog explaining the brief.

Of course, the natural reply should be that merely because the federal government has not included past private entity mandates in the budget, it does not follow that it should not do so, or that refraining from doing so is somehow honest. But that natural reply is just not found in the linked story. Instead, the story seems to celebrate the fact that the CBO’s dishonesty is keeping the “reform” process on track.

Such celebrations will continue, of course, until we all realize that the reform process will lead to yet more hammer blows being landed against our long term fiscal outlook. By then, I fear that it will be too late to ameliorate the situation.

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