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To Save Money, Save the Health Care Act

Author: Peter R. Orszag, Adjunct Senior Fellow
November 3, 2010
New York Times


In the name of fiscal probity, the incoming Republican leadership in Congress has committed to doing whatever it takes to stop the health care reform act from taking effect. Yet many of the provisions that politicians have been taking aim at are the ones that save money like those that reduce excessive provider payments and create new institutions to curb cost growth.

If the newly elected representatives and senators are truly concerned about rising health care costs, they should work to deploy the law's cost-containment measures fully rather than try to repeal them.

Sure, the health care law is not perfect, but it would cut the nation's long-term fiscal imbalance by a quarter and reduce the projected deficit within Medicare by three-quarters. That may seem fanciful, given how distorted the public discussion has become. But that's what the projections show, as long as Congress sticks to its guns and the Obama administration does a good job carrying out the provisions of the law.

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