Previous analyses have underestimated the potential cost-saving effects of the House and Senate health reform bill, according to a new report co-authored by the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the Commonwealth Fund.
Reform's savings underestimated, report says
The House bill, for example, would reduce the deficit by nearly $459 billion over 10 years, approximately $300 billion more than what the Congressional Budget Office estimated, the report found. It also cited larger deficit-reduction figures for the Senate bill, $409 billion over 10 years, compared with the CBO's projection of $130 billion.
Estimates of federal savings from the respective bills' payment and systems reforms were also higher than the CBO's. The report concluded that each of the bills would result in approximately $680 billion in savings from 2010-2019, compared with the CBO's estimates of less than $500 billion for the House and Senate legislation.
The CBO attempted to estimate, or “score,” the federal budget impact of each of these bills, but this is not the same as analyzing the health system impact, the report's researchers stated in explaining the differences in their results vs. the congressional actuary's results.
“To estimate health spending accurately, we need to separate out the costs into new healthcare spending and transfers of existing spending from the private sector to the government. Furthermore, CBO assigned very little savings to system reform efforts, rendering its overall analysis incomplete,” according to the report.
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