Fiscal Risks of House Republicans' Health Plan

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 03/14/2017 - 08:58

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) estimates that relative to current law the House Republican health care plan will decrease spending by $1,219.1 billion and decrease revenue by $882.8 billion, leading to a total deficit reduction of $336.5 over the 10-year budget window from 2017 to 2026.

While it is important to consider the projected loss of health insurance for 24 million people, this post will look at the numerous fiscal risks of the legislation.

In Defense of the Congressional Budget Office

Submitted by bbixby on Fri, 03/10/2017 - 08:42

In recent days, there have been questions raised about the credibility of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). This is likely a pre-emptive rebuttal in case CBO produces politically problematic estimates of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) -- the House GOP proposal for replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). There is no reason, however, to doubt that CBO will apply its usual and critically important “objective, impartial, and nonpartisan” analytical standard in arriving at its AHCA estimates.

Boosting Growth Through Fiscal Policy

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 03/08/2017 - 14:43

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office published a blog exploring the role of fiscal policy in improving economic productivity. The subject is particularly interesting given how frequently politicians propose to pay for their agendas, be they tax cuts or spending increases, with dubious claims of improved economic growth. CBO identified four main fiscal tools that can actually result in increased growth through higher productivity:

Just Paying For New Programs Won't Be Enough

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 03/07/2017 - 14:14

In considering budget plans for the coming fiscal year, President Trump and lawmakers should keep in mind that under current law the federal government is already on track to run up deficits of nearly nine and a half trillion dollars, according to Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition.

President's Speech to Congress Overlooks Fiscal Challenges

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 03/01/2017 - 13:14

WASHINGTON -- The Concord Coalition expressed concern tonight that President Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress failed to discuss in any detail how his administration planned to meet the nation’s key fiscal challenges or finance his new proposals.

Pension Protection Programs Need Further Repairs Soon

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 02/28/2017 - 14:11

With large numbers of baby boomers moving into their retirement years, the federal government corporation that insures pension benefits for nearly 40 million workers and retirees faces growing difficulties that require Washington’s urgent attention.

Trump's Troublesome Tweet on the Debt

Submitted by jgordon on Mon, 02/27/2017 - 14:05

President Trump’s Saturday morning tweet on the national debt left many budget watchers scratching their heads about its dubious factoid and irrelevant comparison.

Here’s what Trump said:

“The media has not reported that the National Debt in my first month went down by $12 billion vs a $200 billion increase in Obama first mo.”

The facts are accurate but meaningless.

CBO Report Shows 'Welfare' Isn't Driving Deficits

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 02/21/2017 - 14:01

new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that non-health means-tested government programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as food stamps) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), are growing at a much slower rate than other federal benefit programs. The report analyzed both spending trends over the past decade and projections for the upcoming decade.

New Report on Health Care Costs Should Provide Focus for Secretary Price

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 02/21/2017 - 13:58

In the release of their annual projections for National Health Expenditures (NHE), the federal government's chief health care actuaries see the sector growing to represent one-fifth of the entire economy by 2025 (up from 18 percent in 2016). Understanding this growth and how to moderate it should be front-and-center for newly confirmed Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.