CBO weighs in

CBO WEIGHS IN…. Congress has been waiting for additional information from the Congressional Budget Office before moving forward on health care. It took a while, but the CBO weighed in this morning.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the Senate’s healthcare bill will now cost $875 billion over 10 years and reduce the deficit by $118 billion.

The net reduction is lower than the original score of the Senate’s bill, which was estimated to cut the deficit by $132 billion from 2010 to 2019.

The CBO originally estimated that the Senate’s healthcare bill would cost $871 billion over a 10 year period.

The new CBO report does not include estimates on President Obama’s proposed fixes, bridging the gap between the House and Senate bills, which should add to the overall price — the White House version increases subsidy rates, for example — but not enough to push the cost of the package above the projected ceiling of $950 billion over 10 years.

CBO Blog has much more on today’s report.

In terms of implications, the new report should help Congress take the next step in completing the process. The Senate bill, which needs to be approved by the House, is fully paid for, it lowers the deficit, and it would bring coverage to 31 million Americans who don’t currently have it, just as advertised.

* Update: I’m told there’s another CBO report on the way, possibly as early as today, scoring budget fixes to be included in the “sidecar” bill.