Health Care: Summers Draws Line on Deficits but Not on Costs

By Jennifer Parker

Dec 13, 2009 10:21am

Larry Summers told me that a health care bill would have to reduce budget deficits, but wouldn’t necessarily have to reduce overall health care costs.    

Late this week the actuary for Medicare and Medicaid concluded that the Senate Bill would increase overall health care spending over the next 10 years. 

But when I pressed Summers on whether the President would sign a bill that increased health care costs he said “the president’s bill will meet what has been the agreed test, that the Congressional Budget Office assesses the bill and concludes that it reduces the budget deficit.”  

Summers said that he’s “very confident that this bill will reduce health care costs,” but he wouldn’t say that the bill had to have cost reductions for the President to sign it.


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