CBO Estimate: House Bill Closing In On Obama’s $900 Billion Limit
An initial Congressional Budget Office estimate of a version of health reform legislation favored by House liberals puts the price-tag within reach of President Obama's stated $900 billion limit for the overhaul, The Washington Post reports.
The estimate comes in at $905 billion. Compared with earlier versions in the House, the package scored by the CBO would offer more limited subsidies to help people buy insurance and would lower employer tax credits.
Another version just analyzed by the budget office rung in at $859 billion over a decade. But, "[t]he cheaper version would rely heavily on a more dramatic expansion of Medicaid, the government health plan for the poor that is funded partly by the states - meaning already-strapped governors (and states) would have to pick up more of the cost of reform."
Both versions include a public option. The $905 billion bill would set prices for physicians based on Medicare rates, while the cheaper bill would set rates through negotiations between administrators and providers (Montgomery, 10/16).