Monday, August 3, 2009

White House economic advisor Lawrence Summers says Congressional Budget Office's failure to atttribute savings to prevention programs means health care legislation will be even more fiscally responsible than expected.

"It’s what we call a “belt and suspenders” approach," Summers, who chairs the National Economic Council, said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"There are some things - how we pay drug companies, for example - where you can do the accouinting very accurately and see what happens to the deficit," he said. "There are other things - encouraging preventive care, taking the whole reimburseement system out of politics - where it’s much more difficult to do the exact calculation. And so the CBO doesn’t give us any credit for them, although most people would say that over time they’re likely to have some benefit.

"We’re doing both sets of things," he continued. "And so I think we’ve got a lot a lot of basis for being optimistic that whatever the CBO says it’s going to end up better. This is the most fiscally responsible approach to introducing a major structural change in the economy that’s ever been pursued. And it’s right, because the center has got to be containing health care costs or it’s not going to work for most families."


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