Throughout this entire health care reform debate, Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) has been the biggest advocate of the CBO. He demanded that CBO score health care reform over ten years. He also demanded the CBO must examine the bill and conclude that it would not increase the deficit over the next 20 years.
Yet, when the CBO disagrees with him, he had no problem simply ignoring their findings. Conrad has been pushing his idea of co-ops despite the growing evidence that they would have little or no effect. When the Star Tribune asked Conrad if he agreed with CBO director Doug Elmendorf’s conclusion that, "They seem unlikely to establish a significant market presence in many areas of the country," Conrad answered:
I do not agree with the Mr. Elmendorf’s assessment on co-ops. Based on the advice of leading actuaries, we are providing enough federal seed money for these co-ops to insure 12 million Americans.
I think this should be defined as the new Conrad CBO Standard. It is the belief by Kent Conrad that everyone must follow the conclusions of the CBO, unless the CBO disagrees with Kent Conrad.