Student Loan Provisions Help Offset Health Costs In Reconciliation Bill
"Without the inclusion of a student loan overhaul, the healthcare reconciliation bill would likely have been blocked in the Senate, according to an analysis of preliminary CBO estimates," Congress Daily reports. Under the rules for the reconciliation bill, the legislation "must save at least $2 billion over the next five years," but "[t]he HELP Committee's health provisions alone would have cost nearly $4 billion net over five years, preventing the use of reconciliation. Because the student loan overhaul on net saves $5 billion in the first five years, the $1 billion target required for the use of reconciliation is met, the CBO estimates show" (Friel and Krigman, 3/19).
The Washington Post: The student loan measure "has been overshadowed by the health-care debate. But it is moving swiftly now and could benefit from a maneuver that packages it with Obama's health-care plan. The two initiatives central to the president's domestic agenda could pass simultaneously in what are expected to be largely party-line votes" (Anderson and MacGillis, 3/18).