What About Wyden?

One oddity of this panel is that there hasn't been any real mention of the main proposals put forward by actual politicians -- John McCain's plan, Barack Obama's plan, or the Wyden-Bennett bipartisan bill. Then along came a woman who I slowly realized with Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) who took advantage of the Q&A period to ask the panelists to give their views on Wyden-Bennett. It was an interesting moment, but perhaps not the optimal method for America's members of congress to be getting their information. Chris Jennings and Mark Ganz both made basically favorable noises, though both are skeptical that such a frontal assault on employer-based insurance is feasible.

Orszag said "it’s not my job to say whether something is good or bad, but Senator Wyden and Senator Bennett worked very hard to make their proposal budget neutral.” Budget neutral is, I believe, the highest praise a CBO director is allowed to give to proposed legislation.