DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (OMB)
Date of Birth: Dec. 16, 1968.
Education: A.B., Princeton University; Ph.D. in economics, London School of Economics.
Career Path: Orszag began his career working for President Bill Clinton, first at the Council of Economic Advisors and later as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. He then teamed up with mentor Robert Rubin – the former Treasury Secretary -- as director of the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project. In 2007 Orszag was named director of the Congressional Budget Office, where he quickly gained attention for his focus on health care costs. He nearly doubled the number of health analysts at the CBO.
Role in Health Care Reform, 1993-1994: None.
Why He's a Player Now: As OMB director, Orszag has considerable clout managing the administration’s budget and fashioning the administration response to any health legislation. His CBO experience will enable him to anticipate how the CBO might “score” any legislation. He argues that long-term fiscal responsibility depends on reining in health care spending. Orszag is a strong believer in comparative effectiveness, and argues: “In health care, unlike in other sectors, higher quality currently seems to be associated with lower cost -- not the opposite.” He believes doctors and hospitals need to make “substantial efficiency improvements,” and it is likely that any health reform will include his principles.
Quote: “Health-care costs are the key to our fiscal future….To transform our health-care system so that it improves efficiency and increases value, we need to undertake comprehensive health-care reform, and the president is committed to getting that done this year. Once we do, we will put the nation on a sustainable fiscal path and build a new foundation for our economy for generations to come.” (Wall Street Journal op-ed, May 15, 2009)
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