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Elmendorf Crushes White House Hopes Again (Update)

John on July 25, 2009 at 8:58 pm

After their meeting last week, I’m sure Obama was hoping CBO director Doug Elmendorf would play ball a bit more. Doesn’t seem to be working out that way:

For the second time this month, congressional budget analysts have dealt a blow to the Democrat’s health reform efforts, this time by saying a plan touted by the White House as crucial to paying for the bill would actually save almost no money over 10 years…

“In CBO’s judgment, the probability is high that no savings would be realized … but there is also a chance that substantial savings might be realized. Looking beyond the 10-year budget window, CBO expects that this proposal would generate larger but still modest savings on the same probabilistic basis,” CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf wrote in a letter to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Saturday…

The proposal’s meager savings are a blow to Democrats working furiously to bring down costs in order to win support from Blue Dogs, who have threatened to vote against the bill without significant changes. The proposal was heralded as a breakthrough on Tuesday after Blue Dogs and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman emerged from the White House with agreement on giving the independent panel, rather than Congress, the ability to rein in Medicare spending.

The White House just keeps bumping up against a little thing I like to call reality. [HT: Hot Air]

Update: Ed at Hot Air has a new post in which he notes that Orszag appears to be attacking the CBO directly now, saying the following on Friday:

White House Budget Director Peter Orszag said the CBO’s analysis — which it relayed to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Saturday — could feed a perception of the office’s bias toward “exaggerating costs and underestimating savings.”

Once again, I think it’s time to break out this clip I made about six weeks ago. Note that Orszag’s view of cost-savings was a bit different in ’07 when he was CBO director:
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