An Assessment of the CBO Cost Estimate of S. 1895: The Unintended Economic Consequences of the Proposed Healthcare Price Control System

September 2019  |  Nam D. Pham, Ph.D. and Mary Donovan

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This report examines the Congressional Budget Office’s assessment of the Lower Health Care Costs Act (S. 1895, Section I) and identifies the unintended negative consequences of the bill. The Act was intended to address surprise medical bills, but in doing so sets price controls for all physicians. The CBO cost-savings estimate is based on unrealistic assumptions and fails to account for the negative impact on the number of physicians nationwide. The unintended consequences are significant. The number of available physicians will drop. Patient quality will be reduced. Healthcare expenses will rise. A resolution model that uses market-based prices, like the New York State system, is a more effective way to address surprise medical bills.