Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, today announced introduction of an amendment that would make sure the Senate health care reform bill stays true to its deficit reduction targets. The most current Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections show that the Senate health care reform bill would reduce the deficit in the long term. Bennet's amendment goes the extra mile to lock in these savings.
"The nation's skyrocketing deficit is constraining the choices of our kids and grandkids. If we are going to get control of our fiscal situation, we must start by enacting health care reform," Bennet said. "The Senate health care reform bill takes strong steps to reduce costs and lower the deficit. This amendment goes the extra mile and creates a fail-safe process to ensure that health care reform strengthens our fiscal standing."
Over the past several weeks, Bennet has worked to create a failsafe enforcement mechanism that would take an extra step in ensuring the cost savings of the Senate health care reform bill. Bennet today said he is pushing to have the amendment attached to the current health reform bill but would continue to fight for its passage if it is not accepted.
Shortly after health reform's enactment, Bennet's amendment would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to make an initial, year-by-year assessment of the law's costs. Over time, OMB will re-assess these estimates to determine whether the bill is meeting its cost-savings targets.
If the health care law fails to meet its deficit reduction targets, OMB must prepare a plan to bring the law's savings back in line with its original projections. The non-partisan CBO would assist on a separate track to right the fiscal ship and restore deficit reduction.
Congress must consider these changes in a timely manner and with limited amendments. Both the House and the Senate must approve any changes by a vote of 3/5ths of their members.