The House healthcare reform bill has the potential to reduce the deficit over two decades, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, sharing preliminary estimates from congressional actuaries with reporters.
House bill seen trimming deficit over 20 years, Pelosi says
The America's Affordable Health Choices Act will be fully paid for, and “it will reduce the deficit not just over 10 years, but over 20 years,” Pelosi said.
A Pelosi aide clarified that the bill would reduce the deficit over this time period “under all three scenarios” for a public option that are currently under review by the Congressional Budget Office. One of the alternatives, known as the “robust” option, would base Medicare rates for doctors at Medicare levels plus 5%.
No new information on cost estimates for the robust option or any of the other public option alternatives was disclosed, although it's been known for some time that the robust option saves the most money, Pelosi said.
When asked about the bill's overall price tag, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the legislation fell “within targets,” meaning it met its objective to cost less than $900 billion over 10 years, under these preliminary estimates.
The House bill seems to be running on a track similar to the bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee, which was estimated to reduce the deficit by $81 billion over 10 years, bending the cost curve over 20 years total.
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