The public option has caused concern among providers who do not want to be reimbursed at Medicare rates. Andrews said changing Medicare's formula to address geographic disparities in reimbursement would help alleviate these concerns, especially for hospitals in rural areas.
The Congressional Budget Office has been analyzing several ideas for crafting a public option. No one would divulge any new CBO figures on what these options would cost, although Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said the robust option would “save $85 billion more over the next-best choice” for a public plan.
CBO has yet to release an official price tag for the entire bill. House leadership has indicated the bill has met the goal of scoring under $900 billion.
Some news reports indicate the legislation would cost $871 billion, but officials say those figures are still preliminary. Members of the Democratic caucus say the final cost estimates are imminent. They will be released “within 24 to 48 hours,” Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, told reporters.
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