by devilrays, Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 06:24:04 AM EDT
This is potentially very good news for the "robust public option" that has been claimed dead but is still alive and kicking.
CBO finds Dem bill with public option reduces deficit
A preliminary estimate from the Congressional Budget Office projects that the House Democrats' health care plan that includes a public option would cost $871 billion over 10 years, according to two Democratic sources.
CBO also found that the Democrats' bill reduces the deficit in the first 10 years.
This new CBO estimate, which aides caution is not final, is significantly less than the $1.1 trillion price tag of the original House bill that passed out of three committees this summer. More importantly, it comes under the $900 billion cap set by President Obama in his joint address to Congress last month.
The bill WITH the public option would actually reduce the deficit? That should be music to the ears of deficit-hawkish blue dog Democrats and Republicans alike.
Senior Democratic aides told CNN that House Democratic leaders are likely to put this version of the public option favored by liberal Democrats in the final bill they are drafting. While no final decision has been made, on Tuesday night Speaker Pelosi made the case to House Democrats that this approach saves the most money and would put the House in a better negotiating position when it comes time to negotiate a final health care bill with the Senate.
Right on. Why would we not put the bill out there that saves the most money, reduces the deficit by the largest measure?
Moderate, "blue dog" Democrats in the House largely oppose the robust public option and instead argue for a government run insurance option that could negotiate reimbursement rates directly with doctors and hospitals. CBO's analysis of that approach was not available according to Democratic sources, but aides say the preliminary analysis shows it does not save as much as the approach pushed by Pelosi.
Look at that. The Blue Dog's approach does "not save as much." Yet, it is favored by them anyway. Not because of budgetary motivations, obviously, but because they are in bed with the health insurance industry, having to give legislative payback for the money received from the various anti-reform tentacles of the industry. At least after the CBO report comes out on Wednesday they will not have high-minded budget-hawkery to hide behind anymore.
The robust public option provides the largest deficit reduction over 10 years. PERIOD.
Blue Dogs and moderate Republicans need to come clean about their true motivation here. Deficit and budget concerns can no longer be used to explain their opposition to the public option, now that the CBO is releasing their calculated estimates that the "robust public option" plan would provide the largest deficit reduction.