April 19, 2024
  •   Download PDF
  • Policy Leaders for Former Presidents Reagan, Obama Call on Congress to Pass the Preventive Health Savings Act

    On March 19, 2024, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 766: The Dr. Michael C. Burgess Preventive Health Savings Act. This bill marked the first time in history that a bipartisan bill with sole Budget Committee jurisdiction passed the House under suspension of the rules. 

    Recently, Dan Crippen, Domestic Policy Advisor and Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy in the Reagan Administration and former Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and Nancy-Ann DeParle,Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy in the Obama Administration, endorsed H.R. 766 and called for the bill to be passed by the Senate in The Hill.

    Word on the Street via The Hill:

    • “We believe that certain structures in the budget process itself, while understandable in their intent, create barriers to legislation in this essential arena. With some small revisions, the true worth of an ounce of prevention could be a better guide to policymaking.”
    • “Last month, the House unanimously passed the Preventive Health Savings Act, which would take a valuable step in improving the process. The Senate should do the same.”
    • “Clearly, prevention is preferable to avoidable illness, delayed diagnosis or expensive treatment. For decades, public health advocates have urged that this view be incorporated into federal financing. As health care costs rise and chronic illness and disability account for ever-larger shares of national health spending, the need has become increasingly pressing.”
    • “One recommendation is to provide more information about the context of costs and savings. Congress should know if preventive health legislation will have long-term effects, even if those are difficult to estimate and not included in the short-term construction of budgets.”
    • The House bill is an important first step...

    The Bottom Line: 

    H.R. 766, The Dr. Michael C. Burgess Preventive Health Savings Act would create a mechanism for CBO to provide supplementary budgetary savings estimates over an extended 30-year window for preventive health care legislation, while protecting against partisan “budget gimmicks.”

    While the current scoring window for CBO is 10 years, the full cost-saving potential of preventive health care legislaton often occurs over a longer period of time. For example, policies that support medical innovation often result in budgetary costs in the current 10-year window but may result in savings over a longer period. 

    It is rare to have senior policy staff from the Reagan and Obama Administrations on the same page. The growing bipartisan calls to enact H.R. 766 shows overwhelming support for this legislation and the important changes the bill will make to howCongress views preventive health care policies.

    Click HERE to read House Budget Committee Chairman Jodey C. Arrington’s (R-TX) statement from floor debate for H.R. 766.

    Click HERE to read Chairman Arrington, Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX), and Representative Diana DeGette’s (D-CO) statements on House passage of H.R. 766.

    Click HERE to read what stakeholders are saying about H.R. 766. 

    Related Issues