Senate Health Bill: The Economists Are Happy Again

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Wonk alert! Incoming!

Close readers of this blog will know that I’ve been interested in the mood swings of a group of prominent economists with regard to this Senate health care bill. Brad DeLong tells us they now have sent yet another letter–this one congratulating Harry Reid on putting some additional cost containment in the bill. (The signers of these letters have varied, with a few dropping off the second one that scolded Reid, but all three letters have included a number of Nobel prize winners and former directors of the Congressional Budget Office.)

As we did here the other day, they focus on two particular elements of the bill that they regard as improvements: a stronger independent Medicare commission and a provision that broadens the number of pilot projects, and gives the HHS Secretary more authority to expand them if they prove to be successful.