Ezra Klein at The Washington Post today:
This morning, Lamar Alexander said that reconciliation has never been used for anything as big as health-care reform. Health-care reform has a 10-year cost of about $950 billion. The Bush tax cuts, which passed through reconciliation, had a 10-year cost of about $1.8 trillion. Lamar Alexander voted for them.
He engaged in something we used to call reporting. Which is why he checked, instead of turning to the guy at the next desk and saying: “Alexander just said reconciliation hasn’t been used for stuff this big. What do you have to say about it?”
(Perhaps he’s live-blogging the summit.) Here’s something else he said today:
Lamar Alexander and Barack Obama just had a contentious exchange on this point, so it’s worth settling the issue: Yes, the CBO found health-care reform would reduce premiums. The issue gets confused because it also found that access to subsidies would encourage people to buy more comprehensive insurance, which would mean that the value of their insurance would be higher after reform than before it. But that’s not the same as insurance becoming more expensive: The fact that I could buy a nicer car after getting a better job suggests that cars are becoming pricier. The bottom line is that if you’re comparing two plans that are exactly the same, costs go down after reform.
You can find a full rundown of the report here.