The CBO has scored the reconciliation version of health care reform. Here are the details:
1. CUTS THE DEFICIT Cuts the deficit by $130 billion in the first ten years (2010 – 2019). Cuts the deficit by $1.2 trillion in the second ten years.
2. REINS IN WASTEFUL MEDICARE COSTS AND EXTENDS THE SOLVENCY OF MEDICARE; CLOSES THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG DONUT HOLE Reduces annual growth in Medicare expenditures by 1.4 percentage points per year—while improving benefits and lowering costs for seniors. Extends Medicare’s solvency by at least 9 years.
3. EXPANDS AND IMPROVES HEALTH COVERAGE FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES Expands health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans Helps guarantee that 95 percent of Americans will be covered.
4. IS FULLY PAID FOR Is fully paid for – costs $940 billion over a decade. (Americans spend nearly $2.5 trillion each year on health care now and nearly two-thirds of the bill’s cost is paid for by reducing health care costs).
As Ezra Klein points out, the reconciliation version of health care reform will reduces the deficit more than either the House or Senate version, and it covers more people than the Senate version.
We’ve waited for this long enough. We’ve debated this long enough. It’s time to finish healthcare reform once and for all.
Both the House and Senate have already passed health care reform–it’s just a matter of reconciling the two bills and sending them to the President’s desk.
After nearly 100 years of debate, we’re on the verge of passing real health care reform once and for all. It’s time to end this.