Sameer Khan/Courtesy Woodrow Wilson School

Peter Orszag ’91, former director of the federal Office of Management and Budget, gave a data-laden defense of the Obama administration’s landmark health-care legislation to a packed house in Dodds Auditorium Nov. 10.

Although he acknowledged that the administration was forced to make political concessions in order to steer the legislation through Congress, Orszag insisted that it is an important first step in reining in the rising cost of health care, which he called the single greatest threat to America’s long-term financial health. He likened health-care reform efforts to a diet, which must be followed faithfully for a period of time before positive results are seen.

“The bill is not an A,” Orszag said. “It’s a B. It would have been nice to have an A, but it’s better to have a real piece of legislation.” He added that while it seems unlikely that Republicans will be able to repeal the bill, they might be able to cut funding needed to implement it properly.