CBO Says HELP Bill Fails to Meet President’s New Goals for Health Care Reform

Washington, D.C. – Experts at the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO)have concluded that the health care bill passed by Democrats on the Senate Health, Education,Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee would balloon the national deficit by more than $1trillion, drive up total spending on health care and force millions of Americans to lose theiremployer-sponsored health insurance plans.

“If we want to meet our shared goals of reducing costs, expanding access and improvingquality without breaking the bank, we still have a lot of work to do,” said Senator Mike Enzi, RWyo.,Ranking Member of the HELP Committee.

“The partisan bills we’ve seen so far fall well short of the President’s promises, so weneed to continue the bipartisan talks we’re having in the Finance Committee. I urge Democratleaders not to put an early end to these discussions, which give us a chance to achieve the reformgoals we all share."

In his address to Congress last night, President Obama vowed not to sign any bill thatincreases the deficit and said that health care reform must reduce health care spending.However, CBO confirmed in a letter to Senator Enzi today that the HELP CommitteeDemocrats’ bill would increase the deficit by over $1 trillion, and would lead to an increase innational health care spending.

CBO also concluded that the proposal would force millions of Americans to losecoverage they would otherwise get through their employers.

“I hope that the President and Democrats in Congress will set aside these flawed billsand work with us to develop a reasonable, consensus and step-by-step approach that theAmerican people can support.”

A full cost estimate of the HELP bill has been delayed because of the delay by theMajority in releasing the legislation. CBO is currently working on this final analysis.

The CBO letter to Senator Enzi is available here:http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/105xx/doc10553/09-10-EnziResponse.pdf ####

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