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CBO scores health-care bill at $940 billion, Dems say

Congressional Democrats on Thursday will unveil a final version of their comprehensive health-care plan, with House leaders saying the bill would cut the federal deficit by more than $100 billion over the next decade and more than $1 trillion over by 2030.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters Thursday that the legislation is "the largest deficit-reduction bill that members will have a chance to vote on" in most of their congressional careers -- a key enticement for a bloc of undecided Democratic lawmakers who fear the legislation would run up the mounting federal deficit.

Hoyer said his estimate of the savings the bill would provide -- between $120 billion and $130 billion over the first decade -- come from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

The health-care legislation, which Hoyer said would be posted to the Web site of the House Rules Committee sometime Thursday morning, will likely be voted on in the House on Sunday. It would cost an estimated $940 billion over 10 years and would deliver on the White House's top domestic priority by providing insurance to more than 30 million people who currently lack it. The bill would expand insurance coverage through a combination of tax credits for middle class households and an expansion of the Medicaid program for low-income people.

Exuding increasing confidence, Hoyer said Democratic leaders do not need President Obama to curtail his planned Sunday morning departure for a nearly weeklong trip to Southeast Asia in order to get the bill assed.

Hoyer said the one-on-one lobbying campaign Obama has conducted in recent days and weeks is working, and added that the president can get in touch with any last-minute holdouts from the phone on Air Force One.

"He's been working members very hard," Hoyer said.

If the legislation is approved Sunday, it will be shipped to a waiting jet that will fly it across the Pacific Ocean so that Obama can sign it, most likely in Indonesia, making the Senate-approved version the law of the land.

A separate piece of legislation, amending that sweeping health-care bill, would then be taken up next week in the Senate, where key switches need to be made to the legislation's provisions on the federal subsidies and tax credits that will finance the measure.

By Paul Kane  |  March 18, 2010; 9:32 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Just a couple things to keep in mind as Democrats rejoice with glee over the CBO report today:

1) the 'non-partisan' CBO is run by a former Clinton staffer and unabashed 'progressive' Democrat. I'm sure that doesn't contribute at all to the favorable calculations. I'm just say'n.

2) the CBO is notoriously WAY off when it comes to estimating expenses of legislation. Think of the new Capital Hill visitors center. The CBO estimated it would cost $70 million. It ended up costing over $600 million.

It's not that I expect any less celebrating from Democrats. This CBO report is exactly what they were hoping for. What I would expect is that there would be at least one serious journalist at the WaPost who could put their leftist "perspective" to the side long enough to ask this question: what happens when the $940 billion inevitably becomes $2 trillion? Or $5 trillion? What happens to the deficit then?

If Democrats had any courage at all, they would insist that their list of changes to the Senate bill contain a provision that guarantees the American taxpayer that their health care reform will be deficit neutral. That means when the cost overruns come - and they will -, benefits will have to be slashed by law.

It should not be left to the courage of the next generation of politicians to undo the harm liberals are doing today. That sort of cowardice to pass feel-good legislation today and let tomorrow's generation figure out how to pay for it is best left to the likes of FDR and LBJ. Courage to fix the problems created by left-wing legislation is not a quality found often in politicians.
Read: Social Security.
Read: Medicare.

Posted by: dbw1 | March 18, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

How much is it going to cost to fly it half way across the world? Bet they're not sending it FEDEX.

Posted by: gonzo11 | March 18, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Health care reform? FIRST, DO NO HARM.


• Secret Bush-Cheney legacy multi-agency federal-local program uses cell tower/GPS satellite microwave/laser electromagnetic precision "directed energy" RF radiation attack system to silently torture, impair, subjugate "targeted" citizens -- and oversees local police-protected "community watch" vigilante harassment, vandalism, and financial sabotage campaigns.

• Electromagnetic and social neutralization, elimination of "dissidents," undesirables. == POLITICAL LEADERS MAY BE TARGETS. ==

• Why so many cell towers saturate the American landscape -- urban and rural.

• Weapon system patents reveal silent, powerful attack system in YOUR backyard.

• American human rights atrocities, ideological purge, under the cover of national security.

See: (click "More Reporting, Writing")

BUCKS COUNTY, PA- BASED MAGLOCLEN FUSION CENTER: "Central command for a Mid-Atlantic States American Gestapo."

Where is the DOJ/Civil Rights Division Investigation? RE: "U.S. SILENTLY TORTURES..." and "GESTAPO USA" ("stories" list).

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 18, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Obama HealthCare Bill is not to cut healthcare cots, its to mandate another tax on the taxpayers.

Posted by: happyday3 | March 18, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

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