Wednesday night Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled health care legislation. The reform would cost $848 billion and would reduce budget deficits by $130 billion over the next decade, according to an early analysis of the bill by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that was released today.
There are a number of significant differences in this legislation compared with earlier drafts of the bill considered in the Senate and the legislation approved by the House earlier this month. The proposal unveiled last night represents the merging of separate bills passed by the Senate Finance Committee and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, USA Today reports.
It was also reported, Reid and other Senate Democrats cited an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office for the coverage and cost figures. Any effect on the deficit in the following decade would be "subject to substantial uncertainty," but probably would result in "small reductions in federal budget deficits," according to the CBO.
According to Reid, the savings will be substantial.
"We're not going to add a dime to the deficit, in fact, quite the opposite," Reid said. "We'll cut the problems we have with money around here by as much as three-quarters of a trillion dollars."
President Obama hailed what he called a "critical milestone" in the push to meet his top domestic priority for 2009.
"From day one, our goal has been to enact legislation that offers stability and security to those who have insurance and affordable coverage to those who don't, and that lowers costs for families, businesses and governments across the country," Obama said in a statement, adding that the Senate proposal "meets those principles," CNN reports.
Meanwhile, McConnell seems willing to use every trick in the book to delay a fair debate and vote on reform. Each day reform is postponed is another day for him to attack it with another distortion. It's a desperate gambit to confuse the American people, derail the effort in Congress, and block reform. Mitch McConnell, we're calling you out.”
“Among the major provisions in the 2,074-page bill is a public health insurance plan that would let states opt out. Lawmakers insisted the bill won't pay for abortion or help illegal immigrants,” the New York Daily News notes. The measure does not have the even more restrictive anti-abortion language the House bill features, which would affect private policies and has created a potential roadblock to passage. Sources said Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch will offer an amendment to make the language the same,” msnbc.com reports.
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