One of the things Orszag was known for at his last position in the Congressional Budget Office was his ability and commitment to explaining the details of budget evaluations in a straightforward way, whether that was in a Congressional hearing or on his CBO blog. Heâ”™s showing his continued commitment on that front today by launching his own blog and the newly redesigned OMB site. He has his first post up walking through the context and the outlook on the budget — itâ”™s worth reading in full, hereâ”™s his take on the health care provisions in the budget:
“Reforming health care. At the Presidentâ”™s direction, we have begun the process of doing a line-by-line review of the Budget. One of the lines weâ”™ve started with is among the most important to the budget and to many other aspects of our economy: health care.
“As I have long said, health care is the key to our nationâ”™s fiscal future â”“ and there are substantial efficiency improvements that are possible to deliver better results at lower costs in the health system. In the Recovery Act and in this Budget, we begin to make the investments necessary to bring about these efficiencies over the long-termâ””such electronic health records and comparative effectiveness researchâ””and also identify more immediate saving measures to slow the growth of Medicare and Medicaid spending. These savings are devoted to a health reserve fund, which will be available as we work through the legislative process on health care reform this year. This proposal is a starting point, not an ending point, for health reform as additional resources will be needed to improve and expand health care for all Americans.
OMB will get poked for not enabling comments — and I hope they are working on that, but, as I’vesaidbefore , I think that blogging can be very powerful. Having the OMB director post is a powerful toward transparency — and of opening the conversation, tapping into the idea that all of us are smarter then each of us individually.
And I’ll reiterate what some other feds said when they launched the WhiteHouse.gov blog — if the White House and OMB director are blogging, why can’t you and your agency?