Reid bill would cost $849B, expand coverage to 31 million people, aide says
By Lori Montgomery, Washington Post Staff Writer --- Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has assembled a compromise health package that would expand coverage to more than 31 million Americans at a cost of $849 billion over the next decade, a senior leadership aide said late Wednesday.
The cost of the package would be more than made up for by cuts in future Medicare spending and an array of new taxes, the aide said, reducing projected budget deficits by $127 billion no later than 2019 -- the biggest cost savings of any health care package so far assembled by congressional Democrats. The measure would also save the government money in the long term, the aide said, cutting projected deficits by as much as $650 billion between 2019 and 2029.
The aide did not release a formal cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, saying Reid was still awaiting a final report. But, he said, Reid has "received very good news from CBO confirming that we have produced a fiscally responsible bill that reduces the deficit, extends coverage to millions of Americans and meets the President's cost test."