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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

The CBO Scores the Senate Bill

The moment for which we’ve waited all week has arrived — the CBO has scored the Senate health care reform bill:

On CNN a moment ago, Dana Bash reported that the Congressional Budget Office has given the Senate health care reform bill has an estimated $849 billion price tag.
Bash cited a “senior Democratic source” for this information.
The source also said the bill would reduce the deficit by $127 billion dollars, Bash reported.
The bill also reportedly includes a public health insurance option with an opt-out clause

From a message standpoint, this is particularly good news.
The Senate bill would provide coverage for 94 percent of the population, extending access to another 31 million Americans. The price tag comes in well below President Obama’s $1 trillion ceiling. It does more to reduce the deficit than the bill passed by the House earlier this month, and on that front, the CBO estimates it would cut the deficit by as much as $650 billion in the second decade.
Barring a leak of the bill tonight, we will likely wait until at least tomorrow to get more details about the specific mechanisms included in the Senate legislation. But for now, this is a big step forward.

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