Feeling the Heat – As most of us return to work this week nursing sunburns and swapping stories of grilling glory, the heat is on in Washington, at least on one side of Capitol Hill. Senators are out of town this week, but Representatives are working on appropriations. Meanwhile, the debt limit deadline continues to draw closer.
Considering its role as the biggest driver of long-term deficits and debt, health spending has to be addressed in any serious long-term budget plan. And to Rep. Paul Ryan's credit, he has definitely done that in his FY 2012 budget proposal. There are numerous provisions in the proposal that deal with federal health care spending. Let's go through them:
Yesterday, Reps. Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced H.R. 1252, the “Medicare Information Act” (MedInfo Act). The legislation aims to better inform taxpayers about their individual Medicare contributions and benefits by including information in a yearly statement they already receive about Social Security. The overview of the bill states:
One year ago on Wednesday, the health care reform legislation (or PPACA, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) was passed by Congress. Technically, the President didn't sign the legislation into law until March 30 last year, but tomorrow is close enough. We just couldn't wait to update our charts.
In a recently published article in The Fiscal Times, CRFB board member Eugene Steuerle analyzes the current debate over health-care in Washington. Mr. Steurle argues that the yes-no, all-or-nothing mentality of Congress oversimplifies the issue and fails to address the real questions that need to be asked about our health-care system. Mr.
OMB recently released an annual report on PAYGO, showing the budgetary impacts of PAYGO legislation, current policy exemptions, and exemptions for emergency legislation. The report details the budgetary impact of all legislation passed since February 12, 2010, when the PAYGO law was enacted.
Can Dreams of Cooperation be Fulfilled? – Yesterday the nation celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His vision of unity and reconciliation will be needed as a divided Washington takes on many contentious issues, such as health care repeal and several budget-related issues.
Dr. Christina Romer, the former chairwoman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, published an article in the New York Times this weekend calling for President Obama to use his January 25th State of the Union address as a means to outline a credible plan to lower future budget deficits.
Dr. Romer, who left the administration last August, is calling for the deficit to be given significant focus.