July 25, 2012

National Journal

"CBO Score of Health Care Law Delivers No Big Wins"

by Megan McCarthy

If you pay attention to the press releases, the Congressional Budget Office’s new estimate of the health reform law is either proof that the health care law will reduce the deficit—or proof that it will increase the cost of health care. In other words, it’s the same health care debate politicians have been having since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010.

The CBO offered a fresh analysis of the 10-year cost of the health care law on Tuesday in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling that states could opt out of expanding Medicaid to low-income adult populations without losing all of their other federal Medicaid funds. The congressional analysts found that the health care law is $84 billion cheaper and that 4 million fewer Americans will get health insurance, as states opt not to expand their Medicaid programs.

“Politically, it’s a wash on both sides. From a public-policy perspective, it’s very complicated,” said Julius Hobson, a lobbyist for Polsinelli Shughart who used to head up the American Medical Association’s lobbying shop. “I just don’t know how either side can stand up and say, ‘We got everything we wanted.’ Just like in the Supreme Court decision, it didn’t work out that way.”

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About Julius Hobson

Julius W. Hobson Jr. is Senior Policy Advisor at the firm, where he advises and lobbies on a number of issues including health care, appropriations, banking and financial services, budget, defense, foreign relations, and taxes. Prior to assuming his current role, he handled the same matters at another firm in Washington, D.C. Earlier, he was Director, Division of Congressional Affairs at the American Medical Association, where he managed the AMA's interaction with the U.S. Congress. Previously, Mr. Hobson was Assistant Director in the Division. While at the AMA, he lobbied the House and Senate Republican Leadership, the House Committees on Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means, and the House and Senate Appropriations, Armed Services, and Budget Committees.

Prior to joining the AMA, Mr. Hobson served on the staff of former Senator Charles Robb [VA], where he was responsible for financial and economic issues. He previously served in the Executive Office of the Mayor, District of Columbia Government, where he was responsible for coordinating the city's relations with Congress and with the federal executive branch and for advocating for the annual District of Columbia Appropriations Bill. Mr. Hobson served in the U.S. House of Representatives as Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Fiscal Affairs and Health under the Committee on the District of Columbia and as Chief of Staff to a Member of the House. He also handled congressional affairs for Howard University, including advocating before Congress for the University's annual appropriation. Mr. Hobson served a four-year term as an elected member of the D.C. Board of Education, during which he served a term as Vice President and where his responsibilities included testifying before the House and Senate Appropriations Committees regarding the school system's budget.