Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Congressional Budget Office Likes the Baucus Bill

There's huge news this morning on the health care legislation front: the CBO has determined that the Finance Committee bill will reduce budget deficits by $81 billion over the next ten years.

Lori Montgomery and Shailagh Murray have the story in the Post, here.

This is such a big development because the CBO is non-partisan, and their report gives Democrats cover against the Republican argument that health care reform is just another example of a big-spending expansion of government by the Dems. I imagine that the Democrats (and the Administration) will focus on the report relentlessly during the next couple of weeks to try to change the narrative.

Chuck Grassley recognizes the significance of this moment and is already pushing back -- the Times reports that he's emphasizing the CBO's companion conclusion that as of 2019 there would still be 25 million Americans without health insurance: "Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Finance Committee, said: 'The bill spends nearly $1 trillion and still leaves 25 million people without health insurance. That’s not much bang for the buck.'"

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