Bennet aims to protect health care savings

A measure offered by Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., would require supermajorities in Congress to approve recommended approaches should health care changes fail to produce the savings they’re intended to accomplish.

Bennet is trying to have his measure, which he calls a fail-safe, attached to the health care legislation pending before the Senate, he said in a statement.

Should the legislation fail to result in the savings anticipated, the proposal calls for the Office of Management and Budget to prepare a plan to restore operations of the system to accomplish its deficit-reduction targets. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office would assist.

Congress would be required to consider the recommendations in a timely manner with limited amendments.

The recommendations would have to garner 60 votes in the Senate and a three-fifths majority in the House. The idea, according to Bennet’s office, is to keep the executive branch honest should an administration seek to gut the legislation and preserve Congress’ power over the purse strings.

“If we are going to get control of our fiscal situation, we must start by enacting health care reform,” Bennet said. “The Senate health care reform bill takes strong steps to reduce costs and lower the deficit. This amendment goes the extra mile and creates a fail-safe process to ensure that health care reform strengthens our fiscal standing.”

The amendment was supported by the U.S. Public Interest Research group, which said it was a common-sense way to ensure health reform delivers lower costs, and it should be included in the package before Congress.


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