First, from Ezra Klein at the Washington Post:
Washington has spent the past week or so waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to release its preliminary estimate of the Senate bill with the reconciliation fixes. Not only are those numbers important for the debate, but Democratic leaders refuse to release the actual text of their changes until CBO releases the specifics of its analysis.
According to a Democratic source, CBO has finished its work and will release the official preliminary score later today. But here are the basic numbers: The bill will cost $940 billion over the first 10 years and reduce the deficit by $130 billion during that period. In the second 10 years — so, 2020 to 2029 — it will reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion. The legislation will cover 32 million Americans, or 95 percent of the legal population.
To put this in context, that’s more deficit reduction than either the House or Senate bill, and more coverage than the Senate bill.
U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on Thursday that proposed final healthcare legislation would cut the U.S. deficit by more than $100 billion over the first 10 years.
Hoyer told reporters that the Congressional Budget Office said the sweeping healthcare overhaul would cut the deficit by more than $1 trillion over the subsequent decade. The CBO is expected to release its official estimate of the cost of the Democratic-written legislation on Thursday.
This is good news for liberals, good news for conservatives, good news for all.
The tea party is over. Health care reform is the fiscally responsible thing to do. It makes sense.
I had a brief discussion with my students a few weeks ago. Someone mentioned that government would be "taking over" healthcare in this country, government would be making decisions as to which doctor we could see.
"And who does that now?" I asked them. The answer is simple: for-profit health insurance companies. If I go to a doctor outside my group, I pay more money. If my doctor wants me to have a test, the for-profit insurance company must first approve it. My parents face even more restrictions.
Reform is long, long overdue.