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Budget office sees hurdles in financing health plans

New York Times, December 19, 2008

The Congressional Budget Office has announced that many of the healthcare proposals championed by President-elect Barack Obama and other Democrats would carry a high price tag and would generate only modest savings. The budget office analyzed 115 options, including proposals to expand coverage and slow the growth of health spending. One bright spot was the estimate of potential savings from a requirement for doctors and hospitals to use health information technology as a condition of participating in Medicare. Such a requirement could save the federal government $7 billion in the first five years and a total of $34 billion over 10 years, by reducing medical errors and avoiding unnecessary tests and procedures, the budget office said.