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Dem Source: CBO Says Health Bill Cuts Deficit, Costs $940 Billion

Newscom / Scott J. Ferrell

According to the source, CBO finds that the bill reduces annual growth in Medicare expenditures by 1.4 percentage points per year, extending Medicare's solvency by at least 9 years.

And, in a small, but significant improvement over the Senate bill, the combined package will expand health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans, as opposed to the Senate bill's 31 million.

The one difference Republicans will point to? The bill's about $100 billion more expensive than its predecessor. The price tag is fully covered, but will cost $940 billion over a decade. That's likely a reflection of changes to the bill, such as enhanced subsidies and closing the Medicare Part D donut hole. But it does exceed President Obama's arbitrary price of "around $900 billion", which he issued back in September, and which Congress treated as a hard ceiling.

Now House Dems will have to get off the fence. No more hiding behind the lack of a CBO-score as a rationale for their indecisiveness. Dems are caucusing right now, and will be apprised of the score and the changes to the Senate bill.

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at