Last Friday, I participated in a panel discussion at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) entitled, “Health Reform Then and Now: What Do We Need to Know?” The session focused on the differences in analytical information available in 1994, when President Bill Clinton proposed a health-care reform plan, compared to this year. In 1994, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a detailed analysis (available here) of the Clinton plan very early in the year, which gave Congress plenty of time to understand its implications and make judgments. This year, House leaders unveiled their plan and CBO’s analysis of it in mid-July with the intention of voting on it by July 31st. During the discussion, I focused my comments on three assertions made by President Barack Obama about the plan being worked on in Congress that are highly questionable based on the verifiable facts: that it won’t not add “one dime” to the federal budget deficit; that it will lower costs for households, businesses, and governments; and that most of the cost of new coverage will be paid for by eliminating “waste” in Medicare and Medicaid. C-SPAN carried the event live; the full (2 hour plus!) video is available here. More information on the event and biographical information for all of the speakers can be found here, at AEI’s website.


September 14, 2009