CBO: Estimate Single Payer Now!

  • by: Reed Young
  • target: United States Congress -- Committee Chairs
Single-Payers Crashing The Gates
I wanted to know why we don't have federal government cost projections for single payer, so I called the Congressional Budget Office -- and reached an answering machine.

Two days later, Melissa Merson, the Communications Director with the CBO, called me back and left a polite message, explaining that the CBO takes its orders from Congress, specifically the leadership, (House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader), as well as the chairs of various committees:

Finance (H-Barney Frank, D. Massachusetts; S-Max Baucus, D. Montana)
Health, Education, and Labor (S-Ted Kennedy, D. Massachusetts)
Budget (H-John Spratt, D. South Carolina; S-Kent Conrad, D. North Dakota)
Appropriations (H-David Obey, D. Wisconsin; S-Daniel Inouye, D. Hawaii)
Ways and Means (H-Charles Rangel, D. New York)
Energy and Commerce (H-Waxman, D. Los Angeles)

"We are fully aware there are members of the public who would like us to provide a cost estimate of single-payer," said Merson, "but we are inundated with requests from committees of jurisdiction. The priorities are set for us by the Congress."

Now, single-payer activists, rallying behind Progressive Democrats of America and the California Nurses Association, are demanding the congressional leadership request a CBO analysis of single-payer. Not projecting the costs is another way to marginalize the growing single-payer movement.

All U.S. Senators and U.S. House Representatives can be reached by the links below, but please start with the Committee Chairs listed above in Marcy Winograd's article.
U.S. Senate: Senators Home
Write Your Representative - Contact your Congressperson in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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