Bill would fund long-term analysis of federal programs

Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) co-sponsored bipartisan legislation on Wednesday that would enable the Congressional Budget Office to better conduct long-term analysis of the costs and benefits of healthcare legislation.

Ribble and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) collaborated on the Long-term Studies of Comprehensive Outcomes and Returns for the Economy Act. The measure would fund a new CBO division that analyzes legislation that impacts federal programs, particularly those that focus on medical research and disease prevention.

“I’m pleased to introduce this legislation to try and help bend the cost curve of our nation’s healthcare system,” Ribble said. “We need to get our growing healthcare costs under control and addressing chronic illness is a critical place to start. Obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other chronic illnesses affecting Americans today cost Medicare and Medicaid more than $200 billion a year, while federal research dollars continue to stagnate. We need to take steps to address these skyrocketing costs that harm patients, their families and the taxpayer and better focus our attention on preventing and curing these diseases, leading to a healthier population.”

The measure would focus on analyzing the impact of federal programs over the next 50 years.

“This bill will allow members of Congress to be more accurately informed about how investments made today in healthcare research or disease prevention will affect our nation a generation or two from now,” Ribble said. “With national healthcare costs continuing to rise, we must plan for the future, and that means Congress needs to understand how policies implemented today will affect Medicare and Medicaid when my grandchildren become seniors.”