Supporters of healthcare reform legislation introduced by House Democrats insist that new figures released by the Congressional Budget Office reflect a deficit-neutral bill. The CBO estimated the Affordable Health Choices Act would add nearly $240 billion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years, reflecting an earlier projection of $1.04 trillion, partially offset by net spending changes and an increase in federal revenue over this time period.
Backers of House reform bill dispute cost estimate
According to a written statement from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the bill's fix to Medicare's sustainable growth rate payment formula should not have been factored into the cost estimate. The estimate “included a $245 billion cost for Medicare physician reimbursements under existing law that will be exempted under statutory pay-as-you-go (paygo) legislation to be considered in the House” this week, according to Hoyer's statement. Democrats have pledged that healthcare reform would be fully funded and not contribute to the federal deficit, and “the CBO estimate confirms that the newly proposed health reforms in the legislation meet that commitment,” according to Hoyer.
Meanwhile, the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, released a report that says the House legislation would shift approximately 83.4 million people from their private health insurance onto a public insurance plan.
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