In 2004 — amid controversy over the Bush administration’s efforts to bury unflattering cost estimates of the Republican’s Medicare reforms — no less an authority than Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) deemed the CBO’s analysis the final word.
“The true cost estimate as far as Congress is concerned is that of the Congressional Budget Office,” Grassley, then the chairman of the Finance Committee, said in a July 2004 statement. “We’re required by law to abide by the cost estimates prepared by the Congressional Budget Office.”
The CBO yesterday released its cost estimate of the Democrats’ reform bills, finding that enactment of the Senate-passed bill and the reconciliation fixes would yield $138 billion in budget savings over the next 10 years. That hasn’t helped Republicans, who have warned for months that the reforms would bankrupt the nation.