Comment on the Administration's Medicare Bill Cost Estimates
M E M O R A N D U M
To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Medicare bill cost estimates
Da: Friday, March 12, 2004
Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, today made the followingcomment on whether Congress should have received the administration's cost estimates of theMedicare prescription drug and improvement bill.
"No one should have withheld the CMS actuary's estimate. Every cost estimate is relevantto every debate, this one included, and government analysts with relevant information should neverbe muzzled. Aside from that issue, Congress wouldn't have been bound by administration estimatesanyway. We legislate by the Congressional Budget Office's estimates, and those estimates stayedput. There’s a lot of inconsistency in the way Democratic leaders are using administration numbers.They attack the administration for its high job creation estimate, but they embrace an administrationestimate to suit the partisan cause of undermining the Medicare bill. That’s disingenuous. And don'tforget, opponents of the bill that passed wanted a Medicare bill that by anybody's estimate wouldhave cost hundreds of billions of dollars more than what we enacted."
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