Some things cost money; we MUST put out some shekels one way or another for some of what we want or need. That’s part of living in human society.

So to say we should not have health care reform because it will cost some money is not really facing the question. The question is more like, “Do we NEED this or not?” Lots and lots of Americans think we do. And so do millions watching this battle from other nations – where they settled the issue long ago to the great benefit and relief of their populations.

But what if we find out that this reform package will actually REDUCE the budget deficit? Shouldn’t that make people who worry about deficit and debt become more interested in this kind of reform?

The non-partisan, expert, and highly reputable Congressional Budget Office says this reform WILL reduce the deficit. After its careful analysis of the long-term cost of the health care reform legislation soon being voted on they report (as summarized this week by Politico):

The bill would cost $940 billion, and reduce the deficit by $130 billion over the first 10 years and $1.2 trillion in the second 10 years.

Well, that doesn’t sound so terrible – deficit DOWN by “$1.2 trillion in the second 10 years.”

Here’s a list of consequences of the bill, as calculated by the CBO and reported by House Democratic leadership. (Maybe Republican leadership was not so anxious to get this news out.)

  • cuts the deficit – in ten years AND in twenty years
  • reduces growth in Medicare expense
  • improves Medicare benefits
  • lowers costs for seniors
  • prolongs the solvency of Medicareat least 9 years
  • closes the prescription donut hole
  • helps guarantee that 95% of Americans will be covered by bringing coverage to 32 million more Americans
  • nearly 2/3 of the bill’s cost is covered by reducing health care costs

No, I don’t understand all of that in detail. But I bet the CBO has a pretty good grasp of it – and that’s what they say.