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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Reaction to CBO Health Care Score

The Congressional Budget Office recently released the newest cost estimate for the health care reform bill moving through Sen. Max Baucus’ Finance Committee. The estimated 10-year cost of $829 billion is lower than previous estimates, but that has yet to convince two of New Hampshire’s most high profile politicians.

Senator Gregg released the following statement:
The cost estimate from CBO shows that the Democratic proposal on health care that came out of the Finance Committee -- and is considered the most reasonable of the Democratic proposals -- will increase the size of the government by almost a trillion dollars.

This huge increase in government spending is allegedly paid for by cutting Medicare by approximately $500 billion dollars and raising taxes. On top of that, the cost of premiums paid for by all Americans with private insurance will increase significantly. This is extraordinarily expensive and means that resources that should be used to shore up a soon-to-be insolvent Medicare system for seniors is being diverted to create a massive new entitlement, while pushing the country down the road toward a Washington Beltway-controlled system with millions losing their private insurance.

Considering that 25 million individuals will remain uninsured under this proposal, it does not solve our health care issues but does concentrate more power in Washington over every American’s health care and how it is delivered, while radically growing the size of the federal government.
Governor Lynch made more news by what he did not do; James Pindell reports:
Gov. John Lynch is one of six Democratic governors refusing to sign a letter urging their Washington colleagues to pass meaningful health care legislation this year.

The letter, drafted and circulated by the Democratic Governors Association, avoided controversial issues like the public option and was meant to show unity and apply pressure to Democratic lawmakers in Washington.

Of the 28 Democratic governors, 22 signed the letter. Lynch did not along with Missouri's Jay Nixon, North Carolina's Bev Purdue, Arkansas's Mike Beebe, Wyoming's Dave Freudenthal, and Oklahoma's Brad Henry.

The news was first reported by the website Talking Points Memo.

Lynch spokesman Colin Manning said Lynch is concerned about costs to states under some of the proposed plans. When asked by NHPoliticalReport.com whether Lynch supported the public option Manning simply replied, "Governor Lynch believes in the goals of health care reform and applauds the President and Congress for making reform a priority. But the Governor is concerned about cost shifting to the states, and that is a concerned shared by other governors."

It is a thorny issue for Lynch. His Democratic base passionately wants health care reform and favors the public option. Yet Lynch has branded himself as a fiscal conservative and the potential for new health care costs to shift to states is very real.

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