by Patrick Appel
Clive Crook isn't optimistic about health care reform controlling costs:
Marc explains their logic:
The basic problem with the cost argument is that it elides over an important point, one that the White House wants to make publicly but cannot: in order to reduce costs in the short term, reform will cost something extra in the near-term. A deeper point they cannot make: it may take MORE money to build a better system. Only when that system produces better outcomes -- this would be years off -- can true cost-savings be realized.
The White House allows for a ten-year window for health care to become deficit neutral. The CBO's fairly static (and bottom-line tough) scoring of health care legislation, a legacy of Orszag's tenure over there, is certainly complicating the argument from cost. But it's the only major argument that plays well with the voters (and members of Congress) the White House believes are crucial to getting something done.