Health Care Numbers [UPDATED]
Harry Reid is expected to lay out his Senate bill today and along with it the scoring of the CBO. Early buzz is promising.
[UPDATE: the Senate bill will cost $849 billion, reduce the deficit by $127 billion over 10 years, and will likely result in 31 million currently uninsured Americans gaining coverage, raising the level of coverage in the U.S. to 94%, according to CBO estimates. The national health exchange created by the bill would include a public option that, after a period of time, would be only optional for states. A vote is expected on Saturday to bring the bill to the floor. It will need, and I expect it will receive, 60 votes. Then, the amendment process will deal with some of the more contentious issues. It would take 60 votes to remove the public option, and there are not likely 60 votes to do that. That's the beauty of Reid's insistence on having it in the bill he brings to the floor. On the other hand, it will take 60 votes to pass the final amended bill and, thanks to Lieberman, there aren't 60 votes with the public option either. Not really sure what the plan is at that point, maybe the hope that the spirit of Hanukkah will warm his Scrooge-like heart?]