The Congressional Budget Office has said that a healthcare-reform package from the Senate Finance Committee, as amended, would cost $829 billion over 10 years and provide coverage to 94% of Americans.
CBO releases cost estimate on reform
“This is game-changing,” said Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.).
The costs of the package would be offset, in part, by about $201 billion in new revenue from an excise tax on high-premium health insurance plans and $110 billion in net savings from other areas.
As written, the legislative blueprint expands coverage to virtually every American; creates an open insurance market called an exchange; expands the eligibility of Medicaid and puts into place dramatic changes in how care is delivered and paid for across the country.
Baucus' legislation would also reduce payments to just about every provider group, saving about $162 billion from Medicare, and creates a new competitive-bidding platform for the Medicare Advantage program. Congressional accountants have said the Medicare Advantage changes would yield some $117 billion in savings.
It's unclear when the committee will hold a vote on the package, but Baucus said that the CBO has delivered a score needed “to proceed to the next step.”
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