Peter Orszag Fights Back Against Supply Side Health Care Carping
If you are like me, you do not understand all the elements of the health care debate. If you are like me, you want to see a fairer, more reasonably priced system. If you are like me, you are not fully prepared to act as though you know what needs to be done.
I am going to assume that Obama and Company are a step ahead of us and that we should heed their lead. And get up to speed. As this will finally be a people’s movement, just as the campaign was.
So here is the latest push back from the man who more or less holds the purse strings. You will note that the Right is using the argument that the real future of health reform is higher and higher expenses. And the clone, increasingly-despicable MSM is joining the chorus as if it was the truth. Not so says Peter R. Orszag There is more here.
What should not be overlooked in all these discussions of cost containment measures, however, are the backstop fiscal constraints we are demanding of a plan in the short to medium term: We are insisting that health reform be deficit neutral even over the next five to 10 years, through scoreable offsets such as savings within Medicare and Medicaid and (as necessary) additional revenue.
This belt-and-suspenders approach means we are not just banking on the long-term impact from the game changers to protect the budget. We also are demanding quantifiable cuts, efficiencies, and revenue-raisers so that the budget is not adversely impacted in the medium-term. That is to say, if the long-term savings from the game-changers materialize as expected, we wind up with a more efficient health care system and a better fiscal position. If they don’t, then at worst, we have a deficit-neutral plan that will not worsen our fiscal situation.
This isn’t the “voodoo economics” of supply-side tax cuts – not only because of the weak empirical basis for the claims behind such tax cuts, but also because proponents of supply-side economics were not willing to offset the cost of tax cuts through hard, verifiable offsets in the medium-term. Our approach, by contrast, not only attempts to address the key forces behind inefficiencies and rising costs in our health care system, but is also backstopped by hard-headed budget accounting and clear-eyed fiscal discipline.