CBO: HCR Knocks $130 Billion From Deficit, Extends Medicare Solvency

The new CBO scores are out on the health-care bill, with good news for Democrats. The overall cost of health-care reform is estimated at $940 billion, but when compared to savings, the net deficit reduction in the first ten years is $130 billion, with an estimated $1.2 trillion saved in the second ten.

More significantly, CBO estimates that Medicare spending will drop by 1.4% per year, an estimated 32 million people will be covered, and would extend Medicare's solvency by an additional 10 years.

Based on the specifics in the report (PDF), it appears that the "Cadillac Tax" is effective in 2018, but it's not clear what limits will be used to determine the premium threshold, Louisiana Medicaid funding remains intact, but the Nebraska subsidies have been removed.

Republicans are in a bit of a bind now. Democrats can rightly characterize this legislation as a landmark "deficit reduction act" which also happens to extend health insurance coverage to 32 million people. That leaves Republicans having to argue against extending coverage to 32 million uninsured while strongly regulating private insurers, and saving money at the same time.

For the moment, it appears they are in a deep state of denial. Meanwhile, the SEIU has endorsed the bill, and an AFL-CIO endorsement is pending.

Either way, it's a win for Democrats, and it looks like they'll head toward a Sunday vote.


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