As you know from Susie's post, on Friday Howard Dean and Wendell Potter held a blogger conference call to address their concerns about the Lieberman/Nelson Senate Health care bill. Mike Lux was the moderator and a host of bloggers asked questions about the bill. What followed was a detailed discussion debating Gov. Dean's problems about the Senate bill. As much as the Villagers try to smear Dean, it's all about policy and not ideology when it comes to health care.
It's a long call that features more actual policy debate than what you would find on most political TV programs that are supposed to actually carry the same type of substance, but often fail to do. They are more interested in shouting matches than a substantive debate. You can go to DFA's website where they want you to call Harry Reid's office and say no mandates without a public option.
And as mcjoan notes while looking at the new CBO scores, the public option had a better cost saving effect for the federal government in the Health care bill than it does without it.
TPM has more:
The CBO has concluded that, on average, premiums will be the same as they would have been if the Senate had the public option, but that the public option saved the federal government more money by putting downward pressure on the premiums of low-cost private plans, which will be heavily subsidized.
The bill remains a big deficit slayer--$132 billion in the first 10 years. Over the next 10 years, CBO warns all estimates are very uncertain. But here's a key conclusion: "CBO expects that the legislation, if enacted, would reduce federal budget deficits over the ensuing decade relative to those projected under current law--with a total effect during that decade that is in a broad range around one-half percent of GDP."
Update: Of special note from the CBO report--which Pelosi should be trumpeting:
[FN 11] The presence of the public plan had a more noticeable effect on CBO’s estimates of federal subsidies because it was expected to exert some downward pressure on the premiums of the lower-cost plans to which those subsidies would be tied.
If the deficit scolds are really so worried about the federal deficit why aren't they backing the public option to be in the bill too?