Deficit Reduction

Sunday Talk Shows Reveal Republican Cluelessness

Republicans Can’t Name Any Spending They Want to Cut (Again and Again)

Asked 7 Times, Fiorina Fails To Give A Frustrated Wallace One Solution To Cut Spending

 

Bauer On Whether He’ll Disclose Donors Behind His Israel Ads: ‘No, Of Course Not!’

H/t: Think Progress

The Newly Introduced Public Option Proposal Will Reduce the Deficit by $68 Billion

Bring it on…

Think Progress – Wonk Room

Just when you thought the last nail had been driven in the public option coffin months ago, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the public option has once again returned to Congress. As Noam Levey reported last night, “[c]reating a major government health insurance program was roundly rejected last year, but 128 House Democrats are pushing to reconsider the idea, contending that it would hold down federal spending.” The legislation, HR 5808, is sponsored by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and the 128 cosigners are largely progressive caucus members and include all three chairmen of the committees of jurisdiction, Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored the legislation and noted some promising findings. The public plan, in this form, has always been a deficit reducer and this is no exception. CBO found the proposal would reduce the deficit by $68 billion from 2014 to 2020. Despite likely lower reimbursements than private plans, CBO found providers would likely participate in large numbers because of the number of enrollees. CBO estimates the average public plan premium would be 5 to 7 percent lower than other private plans available within the exchange, making it more affordable to individuals. They also estimate approximately 13 million or one in every three individuals eligible for exchange coverage would chose the public option.

The legislation looks very similar to the original House public option that passed the Ways and Means and Education Labor committees. It is important to remember the public option that passed the full House of Representatives in November of last year looked very different from this initial version. Both the original House bill and the new legislation would create an option for a public plan within the health insurance exchanges beginning in 2014. Providers would be paid Medicare rates plus 5 percent in the initial years. The providers will not be required to accept Medicare to enroll in the program.  Continue reading…