Just out from House Minority Leader John Boehner, Congressional Budget Office confirmation that the Republican health plan will save consumers money and reduce the deficit. From the CBO’s letter:
According to CBO and JCT’s assessment, enacting the amendment would result in a net reduction in federal budget deficits of $68 billion over the 2010–2019 period.
This is fairly impressive. We’re not talking about spending here, we’re actually talking about saving money! Lowering costs and improving health care at the same time were initally staples of Obama’s repertoire. In fact, before President Obama out-sourced his healthcare aspirations to Congress, he actually wanted to reduce the cost of healthcare, not just make reform “revenue neutral”. In his non-state-of-the-union State of the Union speech last February, the President addressed the issue clearly:
President Barack Obama called surging health costs a drag on the economy, and said Congress needed to overhaul health care this year.
“The cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough,” Obama told a joint session of the House and Senate in a speech yesterday.
Yes, he really wanted to reduce the costs that are weighing down the economy. So one would think that the President would embrace the announcement made by Boehner yesterday, which includes:
• For the small group market (generally businesses with 2 to 50 employees), the GOP plan would reduce premiums in 2016 for example by up to 10 percent.
• For the individual market, the GOP plan would reduce premiums in 2016 by up to eight percent.
• For the large group market, the GOP plan would reduce premiums in 2016 by up to three percent.
That covers lots of individuals and lots of businesses and actually does save lots of money.
Will the President and members of Congress congratulate Rep. Boehner and the Republicans for a proposal that does exactly what the President initally wanted? Will they accept the proposal in the true spirit of the bi-partisanship they so desire and work together on it?
Time will tell.