- Posted byon June 17, 2009 at 8:24 AM EDT
Reforms that meet long-term objectives but are not scored as delivering immediate savings are often viewed with an understandable amount of uncertainty and even suspicion. That’s why it was very helpful for CBO to release a letter yesterday afternoon walking through not only some of the challenges of financing major health legislation but also the pathways to a higher-quality, lower-cost health care system over time — the proposals that could help to "bend the curve" on cost growth over the long term. In a section entitled "Policy Options that Could Produce Budgetary Savings in the Long Run," the CBO letter highlights a number of options, nearly all of which were included in the President’s Budget or have been subsequently included as part of his health reform package, that hold promise for reducing costs over the long term.
- Posted byon June 16, 2009 at 10:45 AM EDT
Readers of this blog are familiar with my argument: Our fiscal future is so dominated by health care that if we can slow the rate of cost growth by just 15 basis points a year (0.15 percentage points), the savings for Medicare and Medicaid would equal the impact from eliminating Social Security’s entire 75-year shortfall.
- Posted byon June 13, 2009 at 4:08 PM EDT
If you’re not outside enjoying the nice summer weekend and, like me, you are a health care policy wonk, there are a few important developments to be following.
- Posted byon June 8, 2009 at 2:59 PM EDT
Beginning last week with posts by two bloggers I read regularly and then today with a lengthy editorial in the Wall Street Journal and a blog post by the always provocative Richard Posner, observers are raising some tough and direct questions about health care reform. Some of the pieces were skeptical – and even critical – of our plans. I welcome this debate, and hope to use this blog as a way to foster a dialogue on this vital topic.
- Posted byon June 8, 2009 at 8:39 AM EDT
One of the principles motivating the President’s Budget is that, as a nation, we haven’t been making the right investments to build a new foundation for economic prosperity — and we need smarter investments in education, health care, and social services.
- Posted byon June 4, 2009 at 10:50 AM EDT
Last Thursday I blogged on Atul Gawande’s New Yorker essay on McAllen, Texas – the little Texas town with the dubious honor of being one of the most expensive health care market in the country. As Dr. Gawande noted, in 2006 Medicare spent about $15,000 per enrollee here – close to twice the national average, and three thousand dollars more per person than McAllen’s per capita income of $12,000.
- Posted byon June 3, 2009 at 2:48 PM EDT
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has organized an Administration team to run in this Saturday’s Global Race for the Cure. I’m joining with Ray and others from the Obama Administration – not only to run with friends and colleagues, but more importantly to remind all of us of the ultimate purpose of health reform: to help people enjoy better health and better lives.
- Posted byon June 2, 2009 at 2:04 PM EDT
Putting together the President’s Budget is no easy task—in a transition year, it’s particularly challenging. Work that is usually done in six or eight months is done in six or eight weeks. That we were able to put together a budget – while also working on the enactment and initial implementation of the Recovery Act – is a reflection of the dedication and quality of OMB’s career staff.
- Posted byon June 1, 2009 at 11:07 AM EDT
As the debate about health care reform takes center stage this summer, more and more commentators will be focusing – rightly – on the impact of reform on the federal budget.
- Posted byon May 29, 2009 at 10:47 AM EDT
When I give public talks on health care reform, the question I receive most often is "given the government’s fiscal situation, how can it make sense for the government to take on new spending commitments as part of health reform?" The answer is two-fold.
- Posted byon May 28, 2009 at 11:25 AM EDT
As I have written and talked about before, one of the biggest signals of inefficiency in American health care is the massive regional variation in cost and health outcomes. As the Dartmouth Health Atlas has made clear, medicine is practiced differently in different regions across the country, different cities, and even among different hospitals in the same city. And yet the higher cost areas and hospitals don’t generate better outcomes than the lower-cost ones.
- Posted byon May 21, 2009 at 1:45 PM EDT
Today, I’m pleased to announce that the Federal CIO Council is launching Data.gov. Created as part of the President’s commitment to open government and democratizing information, Data.gov will open up the workings of government by making economic, healthcare, environmental, and other government information available on a single website, allowing the public to access raw data and transform it in innovative ways.
- Posted byon May 20, 2009 at 6:06 PM EDT
This morning I was very pleased to speak at the "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" awards breakfast—an event sponsored by the Partnership for Public Service and American University's Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation to honor agencies that have distinguished themselves by excelling at employee engagement and satisfaction. And, I’m happy to report that OMB placed third – tied with CBO.
- Posted byon May 15, 2009 at 8:57 AM EDT
Despite a media report to the contrary this morning, allowing some time for a ramp-up does not change the fundamental significance of the commitment made earlier this week by health care providers and insurers to reduce the growth rate of health care costs.
- Posted byon May 15, 2009 at 7:59 AM EDT
I have an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today on a topic of great personal interest and central to the nation’s future: the immense fiscal challenge of rising health care costs, and the opportunity embedded within that challenge to reduce costs in the health care system without sacrificing quality.
- Posted byon May 12, 2009 at 5:09 PM EDT
Today, the Trustees of the Medicare and Social Security Trust Funds released their annual reports detailing the financial operations and long-term positions of the Medicare and Social Security Trust Funds.
- Posted byon May 12, 2009 at 3:45 PM EDT
Media reports today are suggesting that OMB has found fault with EPA’s proposed finding that emissions of greenhouse gases from motor vehicles contribute to air pollution that endangers public health and welfare. Any reports suggesting that OMB was opposed to the finding are unfounded.
- Posted byon May 11, 2009 at 9:32 AM EDT
Today, we released the final volumes of the President’s FY 2010 Budget.
- Posted byon May 9, 2009 at 9:30 AM EDT
As I have said more than a few times before (even on this blog) reducing health care costs is the key to the country’s fiscal future and also to providing relief to American families from rising health care bills.
- Posted byon May 8, 2009 at 3:15 PM EDT
This morning I delivered a speech at a Joint Symposium of the Committee on National Statistics and the American Academy of Political and Social Science on a topic near to my (admittedly wonkish) heart—the role of Federal statistics in developing and executing good public policy.
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