Senate Finance Committee Working to Contain Health Reform Costs

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said Wednesday that a preliminary Congressional Budget Office score of his panel’s draft health care overhaul package would cost under $900 billion over the next decade and provide health coverage to 95 percent of uninsured Americans.

Baucus also told reporters that the analysis shows that the plan would actually reduce the deficit in the tenth year by several billion dollars. While several policy decisions were not included in the analysis, Baucus described the report as “good news” and said the projected coverage is acceptable and “more than we have today.”

Baucus has been meeting with a bipartisan group of Finance members to find consensus on a health care package with hopes of the panel concluding its deliberations before the chamber breaks for its month-long August recess.

Another participant in the bipartisan discussions, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., called the CBO score “extremely good news. It shows we’re being effective at containing costs, that we’re insuring 95 percent of Americans and that we’re headed in the right direction.”

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