Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More on what if the umpire is wrong

Jon Gabel writes an op-ed in the NY Times, noting that the CBO has historically been too conservative in estimating savings due to Medicare policy changes.

I have written about the issue of scoring, mainly because of a private scoring group that claims they out-predicted CBO on the issue of uptake of high deductible plans earlier this decade.

Here is a post criticizing HSI, the private scoring firm that has academics that were supporters of Sen. McCain's presidential bid. Steve Parente responds in the comments, and he is correct that he and Roger Feldman and others working with this group are proper academics who have much peer reviewed research, that is linked off their web site (all contained in the issue of scoring link above). I should also say when I have called Steve Parente to ask him some questions about his model he responded and discussed them in a very transparent and helpful way, as I would expect a professor to do for another professor.

Also, for those of you watching the NC Public TV call in show last night, when Sen. Burr said his plan (Patients' Choice Act, past links where I have written about PCA here and here and here and here and here ) would insure 34 Million persons, he is using HSIs private score. As far as I can tell, the PCA has still not been scored by CBO, which means the sponsors haven't given the necessary information to CBO to do so. To put the 34 Million that Sen. Burr claims in perspective, HSI's private score says Senate HELP bill will move to nearly universal CBOs scores are consistently showing less effect on insurance increases (and therefore cost of bills) than is HSIs.

Sen. Burr really needs to have to the PCA scored by CBO so comparisons amongst bills can be apples to apples.

UPDATE, 11:10am, 8/26/09: Someone in Sen. Burr's office that would know the details told me that they want PCA to be scored but that CBO is back-logged and that is why it hasn't been scored yet. The Patients' Choice Act was introduced in May, 2009....but I will take this person at their word that the scoring delay is due to CBO workload.

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