• Building Rigorous Evidence to Drive Policy

    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.

  • McAllen Redux

    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.

  • Race for the Cure

    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.

  • The Budget Director’s Bottom Line: Thank You

    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.

  • A “Belt and Suspenders” Approach to Fiscally Responsible Health Reform

    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.

  • Health Care Reform and Fiscal Discipline

    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.

  • McAllen Medicine

    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.

  • Democratizing Data

    Today, I’m pleased to announce that the Federal CIO Council is launching Created as part of the President’s commitment to open government and democratizing information, 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.

  • Best Places to Work in the Federal Government: Double Bronze!

    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.

  • Misdiagnosis

    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.

  • Op-Ed in Today’s Wall Street Journal

    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.

  • Medicare Trustees to America: Bend the Curve!

    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.

  • Clearing the Air

    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.

  • Last but Not Least – The Final Installment of the FY 2010 Budget

    Today, we released the final volumes of the President’s FY 2010 Budget.

  • The Health Care Reserve Fund: A Historic Commitment to Reform

    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.

  • Using Statistics to Drive Sound Policy

    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.

  • Determining What Works, Line by Line

    We in the Administration have spoken often about the President’s Budget heralding a new era of responsibility—an era in which we not only do what we must to lift our economy out of recession, but in which we also lay a new foundation for long-term growth and prosperity.

  • This Week in Budget News

    This week is another busy one at OMB: we are releasing the full account-level budget on Thursday.

  • Congratulations to Xav Briggs

    Champagne corks are flying (or more accurately, Diet Coke cans are being opened) here at OMB to congratulate Xavier de Souza Briggs for being awarded tenure by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology today.

  • Congratulations to Emmanuel Saez

    My co-author and friend Emmanuel Saez was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal on Friday. The prize, which is awarded to the best American economist under the age of forty, is one of the highest honors the economics profession can bestow upon one of its own.