Politics

That is NOT a FINAL CBO Score, But is it Close?

The pricetag (aka: the "score") coming out of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is not yet final, and there is reason to believe the score could change.

 

Here's an exchange between myself and a CBO aide:

Q: Can we expect the final CBO score as early as today, I see Mr Elmendorf (the CBO director) says this one is “preliminary”?

I don't know if it will be today.

Don't miss the sentence also that says this is only the mandatory spending and revenues.... doesn't include discretionary spending.

 

It is unclear how this will affect the overall price of the bill.  Fox's Major Garrett remembers the CBO previously estimating $20 billion in administrative costs for HHS, the IRS,  and grant programs.   The CBO aide says not to expect anything major, though.

 

For now, Democrats can boast a $130 billion in savings in their $940 billion health care bill, but Republicans Thursday suggested that the price tag is "dishonest."

 

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, an OB-GYN, Thursday strongly opposed the exclusion of the so-called Medicare "doc fix" known by its acronyn "SGR," or sustained growth formula, which relates to how reimbursement rates tied to inflation.

 

"We saw a score today on this.  And it just shows you Washington playing games with the American people. $100 billion in savings over the next 10 years? Where's the SGR fix in there? Where's the payment?...It's not only sloganeering, it's flat out dishonest."

 

Congress normally stops a cut in this reimbursement to physicians who treat Medicare patients, both groups being key constituencies for members.

 

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-ND, says he thinks these scores are close to what the final product will be.