MEDICARE I: CBO Calls Clinton’s Plan ‘Meaningless’
The Congressional Budget Office yesterday criticized President Clinton's plan to use the budget surplus to shore up Medicare, calling the move "economically meaningless," the Wall Street Journal reports. Since much of the surplus designated to protect Medicare's solvency is not immediately necessary, the president proposed turning the money into Treasury obligations that would distribute the money to the program over an extended period of time. Under that plan, the money would be immediately used for paying down the public debt. But the CBO argued that those obligations would have "no effect on the ability of the federal government" to pay for Medicare (3/10). CBO Director Dan Crippen told the Senate Budget Committee that the "transfers would not, as some have asserted, strengthen Medicare ... At most, they might have the opposite effect of imparting a false sense of security" (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.