CBO Blog: No Cost Estimate of Obama Health Plan This Week

Feb 22, 2010 3:54pm

ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf reports: While the White House staffers say the cost of a their health reform fix-it proposal would be in the neighborhood of $950 billion – $75 billion more than the Senate bill that passed in December – we don’t know that for sure. And we won’t know this week. CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf blogged on the CBO website that there’s not yet enough information from the White House to create a detailed cost estimate – and even if there were, it wouldn’t happen this week. That means the long-awaited Thursday health reform summit will take place without a cost estimate incorporating the President’s fix-it list. The full Elmendorf post follows: "This morning the Obama Administration released a description of its health care proposal, and CBO has already received several requests to provide a cost estimate for that proposal. We had not previously received the proposal, and we have just begun the process of reviewing it—a process that will take some time, given the complexity of the issues involved. Although the proposal reflects many elements that were included in the health care bills passed by the House and the Senate last year, it modifies many of those elements and also includes new ones. Moreover, preparing a cost estimate requires very detailed specifications of numerous provisions, and the materials that were released this morning do not provide sufficient detail on all of the provisions. Therefore, CBO cannot provide a cost estimate for the proposal without additional detail, and, even if such detail were provided, analyzing the proposal would be a time-consuming process that could not be completed this week."

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