Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CBO Continues to Miss the Point

The director of the Congressional Budget Office today told the Senate Finance Committee it may be decades before costs savings are realized from any overhaul of the $2.3 trillion U.S. healthcare industry. Even so, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf repeated CBO's recent assertions that prevention programs would not contribute to those savings. "They would definitely improve health, but it's not so certain that they would save money," Elmendorf said.

In anticipation of Elmendorf's testimony, Partnership for Prevention released a white paper prepared by leading public health and prevention authorities that said the CBO's take on prevention programs "misses the point" of health reform. They called recent CBO assessments of prevention programs “short-view, narrowly focused analyses” that “tabulate the often sizable upfront costs of covering preventive services but ignore their subsequent payback over time.”


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