The Congressional Budget Office has finally released a score for the Boehner-Pelosi deal to replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) payment system in Medicare. Congress’s official number cruncher has confirmed what budget experts from around Washington have said for weeks – this deal would increase spending and the deficit over the next 10 years and beyond.
CBO estimates that the Boehner-Pelosi deal would increase direct spending by $145 billion over 10 years and revenues by $4 billion, resulting in a net increase in the deficit of $141 billion. Based on my own calculation, the deal would increase the national debt by $174 billion over the first 10 years after including additional interest payments.
CBO also found that the Boehner-Pelosi deal would “raise federal costs relative to current law” in the second 10 years. And according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the deal would increase the debt by at least $500 billion over the second decade.
Replacing the SGR with a sustainable payment model is a vital public policy goal. But as we wrote last Monday, the Boehner-Pelosi deal is fiscally irresponsible.