Big things, big things in the ongoing national healthcare reform debate. And you know what’s astounding? It appears things are starting to come to a close. Yes, that’s right – we might see some resolution at long, long last. One of the biggest sticking points has been the costs/effect on the deficit.
To paraphrase a great statement: elbows are like opinions, everybody’s got to have one. And until yesterday, it was only opinion without significant information. But yesterday, oh yesterday, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released its projections for the reform bill being considered. Here are the four things you should know:
- Cuts The Deficit – Cuts the deficit by $138 billion in the first ten years (2010 – 2019) and by $1.2 trillion in the second ten years.
- Reins In Wasteful Medicare Costs & Extends The Solvency Of Medicare; Closes The Prescription Drug Donut Hole –Reduces annual growth in Medicare expenditures by 1.4 percentage points per year. Improves benefits and lowers costs for seniors. Extends Medicare’s solvency by at least 9 years.
- Expands And Improves Health Coverage For Middle Class Families –Expands health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans. Helps guarantee that 95 percent of Americans will be covered.
- Is Fully Paid For – Costs $940 billion over a decade. Americans spend nearly $2.5 trillion each year on health care now and nearly two-thirds of the bill is paid for by reducing health care costs.
Thanks to the good people at the Herndon Alliance for distilling a huge report into the above summary points. To quote a fading cultural icon: “BAM!”