Morning Bell: Obamacare Puts Transparency and Accountability on Death Bed
September 25, 2009 by The Heritage Foundation
The New York Times released a new poll today finding that 55% of Americans believe President Obama has not clearly explained his plans for changing the health care system and 59% said they thought the health care changes under consideration in Congress were confusing. In a follow-up interview, Paul Corkery, a Democrat from Somerset, N.J, said: “The Obama administration seems to have a plan, but I’m not understanding the exact details.” Corkery shouldn’t feel that bad. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the independent nonpartisan agency responsible for reviewing legislative initiatives with budgetary implications, has no idea what is in the legislation either. During yesterday’s Senate Finance Committee mark-up, the CBO realized only after the vote, that they had made a $600 million mistake in scoring an amendment by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).
The issues that the CBO does not have enough information to analyze are not minor either. In letters released on September 22nd, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf told Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) respectively that his agency simply had not been provided with sufficient legislative language and time to analyze whether insurance premiums would go up under Obamacare or how many unauthorized billions of dollars in health benefits illegal immigrants would receive.