House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) indicated that the House plans to send its healthcare reform bill to congressional actuaries on Friday to determine its price tag.
House aims to send bill for cost estimate this week
Rangel said the intent was to provide a “full bill” to the Congressional Budget Office. Ways and Means is one of three committees of jurisdiction over the sweeping legislation, the America's Affordable Health Choices Act. Lawmakers this week have been scrambling to find consensus on ways to fully pay for the bill while trimming its overall cost to under $900 billion.
House Republicans continue to protest the $500 billion the bill plans to shave from Medicare, claiming it is “inappropriate” to use monies from an ailing trust fund to support new government-run programs.
Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga.) said at a news conference that he was particularly opposed to cutting funds to Medicare Advantage, a program that produces “shorter hospital stays, fewer readmissions, and gives people more choices” on their healthcare.
“We all agree that reforms need to take place to the healthcare system,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). Reducing Medicare by half a trillion dollars to help pay for a new program such as the public plan option, however, is inappropriate, Blackburn said.
She added that no funds should be taken out of Medicare to support an overhaul of the healthcare system.
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