The price tag for the America's Affordable Health Choices Act would be higher--approximately $895 billion--if it adopted either of these approaches, he said, relating preliminary cost estimates or “scores” provided by the Congressional Budget Office.
The House Democratic Caucus has favored the robust public plan based on Medicare rates, while more fiscally conservative Democrats say such a plan will not survive a full congressional debate.
Supporters of the robust public option say it's not surprising that negotiated rates would be more expensive because earlier estimates have indicated a plan based on Medicare rates would generate larger savings than one based on negotiated rates.
A separate analysis on the reform bill released by the CMS late Wednesday estimates it would cost $861 billion over ten years. While appreciative of the agency's work, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, noted that the analysis “was incomplete and out of date relative to what will ultimately be voted on in the House.”
Specifically, it failed to consider the revenue offsets that were included in the bill, Stark said in a written statement.
On Wednesday, the House Democratic aide also confirmed that a solution to Medicare's physician payment problem would be addressed independently of the House healthcare reform bill.
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