7. Peter Orszag « The Washington Independent
Today, he serves as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, but as head of the Congressional Budget Office in 2007 and 2008, Orszag was among the loudest voices on Capitol Hill warning lawmakers of the unsustainability of the nation’s skyrocketing health care costs — and the need for urgent reform. His persistent message has included the following tenets for reform: (1) The cause of the health cost crisis is not the aging population, but the cost to treat each patient combined with demand for ever-evolving technologies, treatments and drugs; (2) roughly 30 percent of all treatments and procedures do little or nothing to improve the health of patients, so if those interventions can be identified and eliminated, health costs would fall without harming patient care; (3) Medicare and Medicaid cannot be made solvent without reforming the health care delivery system as a whole; and (4) however draconian the changes appear this year (think: tax hikes, benefit cuts and patient cost-sharing), they’ll be a walk in the park relative to the changes necessary if Congress postpones its health care overhaul. These messages from Orszag have been whispered into Obama’s ear all year.