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# Cost of US health reforms is estimated at $1.6 trillion for first 10 years BMJ 2009; 338 (Published 25 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2571 1. Bob Roehr 1. 1Washington, DC President Barack Obama’s proposed health reforms are expected to cost$1.6 trillion (£1 trillion; €1.1 trillion) in new money over the first 10 years, at least a third more than advocates had hoped, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated.

Douglas Elmendorf, director of the office, said, “While popular measures such as increasing preventive care, expanding the use of electronic medical records, and rewarding doctors for choosing more effective treatments have the potential to lower costs, little reliable evidence exists about exactly how to implement those types of changes.”

The office has the task of evaluating the cost of any proposed legislation. It is scrupulously non-partisan, and its numbers are highly respected, though often …

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