This morning, CBO released a new report, Technological Change and the Growth of Health Care Spending. I am testifying before the Senate Budget Committee on the new report and on our long-term health projections, which we released in November. The report on technological change was authored by Colin Baker of our Health and Human Resources Division.
Yesterday I gave a talk on health care cost containment at a forum sponsored by the Alliance for Health Reform, and spoke specifically about issues in the design of Medicare and Medicaid demonstrations and waivers. Some have misinterpreted my comments as a criticism of the level of cooperation between the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Congressional Budget Office. Nothing could be further from the truth: we enjoy and benefit from a great working relationship with CMS.
CBO released its budget and economic outlook this morning, and the House Budget Committee held a hearing on the topic. I am pasting below the notes for my oral remarks at that hearing. (For video of the hearing, click webcast.) The outlook report is put together by a large team of analysts and editors at CBO. It is deeply impressive to see how well the team works together in producing a document of this complexity!
CBO released a report today, written at the request of the House and Senate Budget Committees, on the current economic situation and options for fiscal stimulus to boost short-term aggregate demand. CBO will release more information about economic and budget conditions in its Budget and Economic Outlook on January 23.
The report's key points are that:
Substantial interest has arisen recently regarding how much household income and workers' earnings bounce around from year to year, prompted in part by the work of Jacob Hacker at Yale University. This topic is important not only to understand potential sources of household anxiety, but also in designing social insurance systems and the tax code. In previous work released in 2007, CBO examined the volatility of workers' earnings.
CBO today released the January monthly budget review. In the first quarter of fiscal year 2008 (the first quarter of the 2008 fiscal year covers October through December 2007), the budget deficit was $107 billion -- about $27 billion more than in the same quarter last year. On January 23, CBO will release its Budget and Economic Outlook, which will provide updated estimates of the budget for fiscal year 2008 along with the next ten fiscal years.
After a brief break from blogging during the holidays, I will begin regular entries again today...
This morning, our first Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow joins CBO. The RWJ fellowship program is sponsored by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, and is extremely well-regarded in both health and policy circles. As part of our ongoing effort to augment our already exceptional internal resources on health care policy, we're excited about hosting an RWJ fellow.
CBO just released an interim report on the VA health system. VA's health care program has attracted lots of attention, and as part of CBO's ongoing effort to expand our health-related activities, we are examining the evidence on the VA system -- along with what lessons, if any, it may hold for other parts of the health care system.