CBO chief says House reform plan too costly

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Some say the House's proposed healthcare reform legislation, which includes cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, as well as a public health insurance plan, will prevent rising healthcare costs from bankrupting the country. Not so, says the head of the Congressional Budget Office.

Speaking to the Senate Budget Committee on Thursday, CBO chief Douglas Elmendorf said that the congressional reform efforts proposed so far would actually increase the spending curve over time. In order to slow growth and positively affect the spending trajectory, Elmendorf told lawmakers they should alter Medicare's provider payment system to include incentives to reduce costs. He also advocated a tax on employer-sponsored health insurance benefits, a widely unpopular idea that was scrapped from both the House and Senate drafts.

Recently, a CBO analysis of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee's reform proposal caused fiscal conservatives from both sides of the aisle to revolt against the measure, decrying its exorbitant costs. This new testimony is sure to galvanize Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats against the House plan, as well, reports the Washington Post.  
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