Friday, October 9, 2009

CBO Has Spoken - Tort Reform Will Save on Health Care Costs. - Updated

News that will surely get lost amidst  the Nobel Prize furor comes from the latest CBO analysis from the Director's blog:

CBO now estimates that implementing a typical package of tort reform proposals nationwide would reduce total U.S. health care spending by about 0.5 percent (about $11 billion in 2009). That figure is the sum of a direct reduction in spending of 0.2 percent from lower medical liability premiums and an additional indirect reduction of 0.3 percent from slightly less utilization of health care services. (Those estimates take into account the fact that because many states have already implemented some of the changes in the package, a significant fraction of the potential cost savings has already been realized.)

Enacting a typical set of proposals would reduce federal budget deficits by roughly $54 billion over the next 10 years, according to estimates by CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee of Taxation. That figure includes savings of roughly $41 billion from Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, as well as an increase in tax revenues of roughly $13 billion from a reduction in private health care costs that would lead to higher taxable wages.
Tort reform would reduce the deficit $54 billion over 10 years and increase wages because health care plans would cost less.  Isn't that the goal?  The $54 billion is cut and dry while the $81 billion in potential savings from Baucus Care, which is not even written, depends on Congress making cuts that they have historically failed to enact.  Is it me or should tort reform be an automatic?   Of course it will not because Democrats are beholden to the trial lawyers lobby.

UPDATE: Senator Hatch appeared on Greta this evening and explained problems with getting tort reform with the current proposed Democratic reform:

UPDATE: Linked by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air Thanks Ed!
H/T: Memeorandum

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