Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 4, 2015

Senators Doubt ‘Astronomical’ CBO Score for VA Health Bill

va health care cbo score bill

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Some senators are questioning an ‘astronomical’ but preliminary Congressional Budget Office score for the Senate-passed emergency veterans health bill — while promising to find ways to pay for it in conference with the House.

The CBO said the VA bill could cost $50 billion a year in expanded health benefits, but there were questions Thursday about how the CBO came to that figure.

“I think it’s astronomical because of some of the CBO assumptions, which among other things assumes that every veteran who qualifies now to get VA services … who hasn’t been using the VA, will all start using the VA and they’ll all have their share of health problems,” Missouri GOP Sen. Roy Blunt said. “Probably neither of those two things turn out to be the case.”

“A big challenge now for the conference committee is to really get that number to where it needs to be and to carefully think about what’s mandatory and what’s not,” Blunt added.

Sen. Tom Coburn, who has been involved in crafting the legislation from the beginning, said he would work with the House on a way to pay for whatever the actual costs are.

The Oklahoma Republican called the CBO figure a “wild guess.”

“If the CBO can’t tell us things about the Affordable Care Act, they certainly can’t tell us about this because this has just as many variables,” said Coburn. “It won’t come out of the conference unpaid for, I can tell you that; there will be offsets.”

“I am working with Jeff Miller and we are going to solve the problem and pay for it and this is the start of multiple things that have to happen at the VA,” Coburn said.

House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., has previously said any final package to provide better access to health care for veterans will have offsets.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was one of only three senators to vote against the veterans’ package on Wednesday afternoon, citing the CBO score. In a Thursday statement, he praised Miller for his commitment to paying for the bill.

“Our veterans deserve solutions to the chronic, systemic problems that exist at the VA, but the bill passed by the Senate yesterday, which was rushed through in an effort to hide the massive price tag from the American people, is not the right answer,” Corker said. “I thank Chairman Miller for his leadership, and I hope the House will improve the bill and pay for it so I can support it when it comes back to the Senate.”

Coburn also said he was reviewing the details of each of the 26 medical facility leases included in the legislation.

“Tulsa [for example] could buy the same space with the same amount of amount of up front money for $14 a foot. They are paying $40 a foot with a $104 riser every year in it. They act like, ‘Well, don’t worry about it. We have plenty of money; we will just spend the money,’ ” Coburn said. “So my staff is digging down on every one of the clinics and when it goes to conference we are going to talk about that stuff.”

An authorization for a Tulsa project was removed before finalizing the Senate bill.

Even if the conferees do locate offsets, the measure may just be the start of the debate, however. Blunt also raised the broader question of where the VA health programs fit within the broader budgetary picture.

“A committed as we are to veterans programs, the VA has been discretionary, which means that every year the Congress has to look at what the VA’s doing and how they’re doing it and appropriate the money,” Blunt said. “I think most of VA is one year in advance, which is good because you never run into any kind of sequester problem or anything.”

Comments (63)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. James Harris

    June 12, 2014
    5:10 p.m.

    That value seems nuts from the CBO. And remember there are plenty of veterans with their own healthcare who will never go near the VA, especially now given the latest news. And they may never need to go near the VA for their entire lives.

    Really want to know what’s going on here. The CBO definitely needs to explain itself.

    • aftermidnight

      June 12, 2014
      8:28 p.m.

      The CBO always does explain itself. People say the CBO cost estimate seems high but they have have context, no perspective from which to say that. If people think’s too high pass the bill and take your chances.

      It’s safe to assume that the VA has been underfunded for years, which is why we are in the mess we are in. Just another example of irresponsible austerity on the part of the GOP.

  2. Yonatan YONATAN

    June 12, 2014
    6:53 p.m.

    THERES’ THREE MILLION UNEMPLOYED FAMILIES WHO HAVE BEEN WITHOUT AN UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION SINCE LATE LAST DECEMBER. THESE FAMILIES ARE TRULY BROKE, AND BECOMING FINANCIALLY RUINED WITH EACH PASSING DAY. BOTH THE REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS HAVE UTTERLY FAILED THESE FAMLIES, AND HAVE TURNED THEIR BACKS ON THEM ALREADY, AND JUST WALKED AWAY FROM THE ISSUE. MEANWHILE MORE AND MORE ARE FACING EVICTIONS, HOME FORECLOSURES, BANKRUPTCY, AND HOMELESSNESS, WHILE WAITING FOR THE HELP WHICH DOESN’T COME. HELP AND ASSISTACNE HAS COME FOR THE UKRAINE HOWEVER. CONGRESS PASSED A FOREIGN AID BILL WORTH BILLIONS OF TAX PAYER DOLLARS FOR THAT COUNTRY. I GUESS IT’S ONLY THE POOR AND STRUGGLING HERE THAT THEY REFUSE TO HELP

    • Philip Meyer

      June 13, 2014
      12:06 p.m.

      So, let’s just give a handout to everyone with a sob story?

  3. Denise_in_georgia

    June 14, 2014
    7:23 a.m.

    “I think it’s astronomical because of some of the CBO assumptions, which
    among other things assumes that every veteran who qualifies now to get
    VA services … who hasn’t been using the VA, will all start using the VA
    and they’ll all have their share of health problems,” Missouri GOP Sen.
    Roy Blunt said. “Probably neither of those two things turn out to be the
    case.”

    He is an idiot and has voted for years to deny funding for vet needs – he voted to shut down VA facilities and to reduce services for injured vets in a time of war.

  4. The Savage Hombre

    June 14, 2014
    2:36 p.m.

    Obama is the problem.

  5. Hetero Lingo

    June 15, 2014
    1:53 p.m.

    In this CBS News video we find an introduction to the risk of your identity being stolen because of Obamacare: http://youtu.be/yKcjE6N2Z4c

  6. Al Behrta

    June 22, 2014
    3:46 a.m.

    An intro to the destruction of medical care in these united states by the delusional marxists of the Obama regime: http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-insurance/191005-cancellations-are-coming-for-millions-more

  7. George Allegro

    June 25, 2014
    4:28 a.m.

    With the criminal marxist regime of Hussein Obama, the lies just never cease. Yet another example: http://video.foxnews.com/v/video-embed.html?video_id=3063874884001

  8. Publican

    July 4, 2014
    12:24 a.m.

    For 2014 the total VA budget is 153.8 Billion. Medical care accounts for 57.3 Billion. Most of the budget goes to pay pensions and disability payments. Now they are proposing to add 50 billion more for medical and they keep saying the problem was not a lack of funding.

  9. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    1:26 p.m.

    You have noted very interesting details ! ps nice internet site.

    http://www.furtdsolinopv.com/

  10. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    10:49 a.m.

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such excellent information being shared freely out there.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  11. Anonymous

    July 8, 2015
    12:01 a.m.

    Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused .. Any suggestions? Appreciate it!

    http://www.brownpapertickets.com/profile/1148258

  12. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    5:12 a.m.

    Good day! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Cheers

    https://ssl.panoramio.com/user/8746552

  13. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    1:09 p.m.

    so much excellent information on here, : D.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  14. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    6:21 a.m.

    Those are yours alright! . We at least need to get these people stealing images to start blogging! They probably just did a image search and grabbed them. They look good though!

    http://www.kooora90.com/football/blogs/3626/27030/low-cost-high-risk-auto-insuranc

  15. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    8:03 a.m.

    Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people consider worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

    http://www.projectwedding.com/blog_entries/338256

  16. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    9:24 a.m.

    I went over this internet site and I believe you have a lot of superb information, saved to fav (:.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  17. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    2:14 a.m.

    I would like to express appreciation to this writer for bailing me out of this type of dilemma. After browsing through the the net and coming across opinions that were not helpful, I figured my entire life was over. Being alive without the presence of approaches to the difficulties you have sorted out as a result of your entire article is a critical case, and the ones which might have in a negative way affected my career if I had not come across your website. Your own personal mastery and kindness in dealing with a lot of things was helpful. I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t come across such a subject like this. I can at this time look forward to my future. Thanks for your time very much for this professional and amazing guide. I will not be reluctant to suggest your blog to any person who requires guide about this problem.

    http://lowcostautoquotes.com

  18. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    4:49 a.m.

    Great V I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs as well as related information ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Excellent task..

    http://lowcostautoquotes.com/home-insurance.html

  19. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    7:07 a.m.

    Some truly wonderful info , Gladiola I detected this.

    http://split.us

  20. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    12:35 p.m.

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly suppose this web site wants way more consideration. I’ll in all probability be again to read rather more, thanks for that info.

    http://split.us

  21. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    5:42 p.m.

    You are a very smart individual!

    https://bestplumbers.com

  22. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    7:15 p.m.

    Enjoyed examining this, very good stuff, thanks. “A man does not die of love or his liver or even of old age he dies of being a man.” by Percival Arland Ussher.

    https://bestplumbers.com

  23. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    7:12 a.m.

    Hmm is anyone else having problems with the images on this blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  24. Anonymous

    July 26, 2015
    12:01 a.m.

    I keep listening to the news update speak about getting boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the best site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i find some?

    https://www.scribd.com/tuur7ware

  25. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    6:04 a.m.

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your content seem to be running off the screen in Safari. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon. Thanks

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  26. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    2:53 p.m.

    I have read several excellent stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how a lot attempt you put to create such a wonderful informative site.

    http://fandaily.info

  27. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    9:31 p.m.

    What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to contribute & help other users like its aided me. Great job.

    http://eblogtip.com/interserver-vps-hosting-shared-hosting-and-dedicated-server-review-cheap-unlimited-web-hosting-only-4-95-per-month/

  28. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    9:33 a.m.

    Hey, you used to write wonderful, but the last several posts have been kinda boringK I miss your great writings. Past few posts are just a little out of track! come on!

    http://domweselnywarszawa.eu/

  29. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    11:24 a.m.

    WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..more wait .. …

    http://domweselnywarszawa.eu/

  30. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    5:46 p.m.

    It’s really a great and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

    http://www.consultdustry.com

  31. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    6:27 p.m.

  32. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    4 a.m.

    Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such wonderful information being shared freely out there.

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/compare-auto-insurance-rates-by-zip-code.html

  33. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    8:55 a.m.

    I have been reading out many of your articles and i can claim pretty good stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your website.

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/compare-auto-insurance-rates-by-zip-code.html

  34. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    10:12 a.m.

    F*ckin’ awesome things here. I’m very glad to see your article. Thanks a lot and i’m looking forward to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org

  35. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    2:17 a.m.

    After I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get 4 emails with the identical comment. Is there any way you’ll be able to take away me from that service? Thanks!

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  36. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    3:02 a.m.

    Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  37. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    3:45 a.m.

    Hey, you used to write great, but the last several posts have been kinda boring?K I miss your tremendous writings. Past several posts are just a little bit out of track! come on!

    http://topcheapinsurance.com

  38. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    4:12 a.m.

    Hi my family member! I want to say that this article is amazing, great written and include almost all significant infos. I’d like to see more posts like this .

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org

  39. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    4:32 a.m.

    Can I just say what a aid to seek out somebody who truly is aware of what theyre speaking about on the internet. You positively know methods to carry an issue to gentle and make it important. Extra folks must read this and perceive this facet of the story. I cant imagine youre not more in style because you undoubtedly have the gift.

    http://topcheapinsurance.com

  40. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    5:04 a.m.

    superb post.Ne’er knew this, regards for letting me know.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  41. Anonymous

    Aug. 17, 2015
    8:20 p.m.

    I am glad for commenting to let you understand of the terrific discovery my cousin’s princess went through going through your webblog. She figured out several details, which included what it is like to possess an awesome coaching heart to have many others completely learn selected complicated topics. You undoubtedly did more than readers’ desires. Thank you for giving those invaluable, healthy, revealing and cool tips about your topic to Ethel.

    http://www.totsites.com/tot/wendylederman/journald/634464.html

  42. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    8:17 a.m.

    I was recommended this web site by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my trouble. You’re amazing! Thanks!

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  43. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    10:23 a.m.

    Pretty component to content. I simply stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to say that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I fulfillment you get admission to consistently rapidly.

    http://swietymikolaj.wallinside.com/

  44. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    10:36 a.m.

    Very interesting details you have remarked, regards for putting up. “Above all be true to yourself, and if you can not put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.” by Hardy D. Jackson.

    http://santaclausgiftsuk.hpage.com/

  45. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    5:37 a.m.

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Many thanks!

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/primerica-insurance.html

  46. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    8:59 a.m.

    After study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Pls check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/primerica-insurance.html

  47. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    2:23 p.m.

    Hey very nice site!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds also…I am happy to find a lot of useful information here in the post, we need work out more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/primerica-insurance.html

  48. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    12:52 p.m.

    Some genuinely nice and useful info on this site, likewise I believe the layout has got excellent features.

    http://meble-gabinetowe.uchwycone-chwile.pl/files/2015/08/stylowe-meble-okazja-300×197.png

  49. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    1:50 p.m.

    Some truly great info , Gladiolus I noticed this.

    http://hotelepoznan.blog.pl/

  50. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    4:28 p.m.

    I was very pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

    http://m24-dla-mlodych.pl/wygodne-buty/

  51. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    8:31 p.m.

    Simply wanna comment on few general things, The website design is perfect, the content material is real superb : D.

    http://topcheapinsurance.com/travelers-home-and-auto-insurance.html

  52. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    11:41 p.m.

    Hey! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?

    http://topcheapinsurance.com/travelers-home-and-auto-insurance.html

  53. Anonymous

    Aug. 26, 2015
    2:05 a.m.

    Hi my loved one! I want to say that this post is awesome, nice written and come with almost all important infos. I¦d like to see more posts like this .

    http://topcheapinsurance.com/travelers-home-and-auto-insurance.html

  54. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    8:28 p.m.

    Sweet web site, super layout, real clean and apply genial.

    http://wesele-w-palacu.waw.pl/oryginalne-sale-weselne/

  55. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    10:59 p.m.

    Terrific work! That is the kind of information that are meant to be shared across the internet. Shame on Google for now not positioning this submit upper! Come on over and consult with my site . Thank you =)

    http://hotelepoznan.blog.pl/

  56. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    12:46 a.m.

    Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this info. Today bloggers publish just about gossips and internet and this is actually annoying. A good web site with interesting content, that is what I need. Thank you for keeping this website, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

    http://the-criterion-executive-condo.com/the-criterion-ec-e-application/

  57. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    3:14 a.m.

    4zpkEE I\ ave been using iXpenseIt for the past two years. Great app with very regular updates.

  58. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    10:45 a.m.

    hljf2f Normally I do not learn article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, quite great article.

  59. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    5:11 p.m.

    After study a few of the weblog posts in your website now, and I actually like your manner of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website record and will likely be checking back soon. Pls check out my website as well and let me know what you think.

    http://fototapetydosalonu.weebly.com/pylon-reklamowy.html

  60. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    8:53 p.m.

    I think other web site proprietors should take this website as an model, very clean and magnificent user friendly style and design, as well as the content. You’re an expert in this topic!

    http://lowcostautoquotes.com/compare-companies-in-the-usa.html

  61. Anonymous

    Sept. 3, 2015
    2:40 a.m.

    Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything. However think about if you added some great graphics or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this site could definitely be one of the most beneficial in its niche. Fantastic blog!

    https://about.me/legalizacion.de.documentos

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...