Washington (CNN) - The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Democrats' revised health care bill will cost $940 billion over the next 10 years, two House Democratic sources told CNN Thursday.
The bill cuts the deficit by $130 billion during that period of time, according to the sources, and would reduce the deficit by another $1.2 trillion in the following decade.
The measure extends health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans, helping to guarantee that 95 percent of Americans will be covered, the sources said. It also reduces Medicare expenditures by 1.4 percent annually while extending Medicare's solvency by at least 9 years, they added.
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, told CNN that the CBO estimates are "better than expected."
Waxman said that many of the remaining undecided House Democrats have been concerned about the bill's impact on future federal deficits.
The CBO estimates "will go a long way to get them to feel comfortable with the legislation," he predicted.
GOP leaders said the new CBO estimates had not changed their opinion of the bill, which they vehemently oppose.
The Democrats are "still going to spend a trillion dollars to impose government health care on the American people," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - In just over a month, the federal government's fiscal year will draw to a close, leaving in its wake one of the biggest annual deficits in U.S. history - and a forecast of more record debt to come.
Just how much more will be the question on Tuesday.
The Congressional Budget Office and the White House Office of Management and Budget are set to release separate updates of their 10-year deficit estimates, along with updates on their economic outlooks.
The agencies' previous estimates - based on the president's proposed 2010 budget - were about $2 trillion apart.
The CBO, which serves as Congress' official scorekeeper, had the higher estimate: $9.14 trillion over 10 years or 5.2% of gross domestic product.
By comparison, the Obama administration's budget office forecast a $7.11 trillion deficit or 4% of GDP.
The White House's economic estimates were seen by many as too optimistic. For instance, the administration estimated that unemployment would hit a peak of 8.1% this year. Actual unemployment numbers have already surpassed that level - hitting 9.4% in July. And many economists expect the number to reach 10% before too long.
Last week, White House officials said their new 10-year deficit forecast will be in the neighborhood of $9 trillion, in part because Uncle Sam is pulling down less tax revenue than expected. That would bring it more in line with the CBO's previous forecast.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Democrats on Monday hailed a new report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office that they said proves Republicans are misinforming the public about the effects of health care reform.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders said at a news conference the report shows that a government-funded public option for health insurance would increase the number of people getting employer-provided coverage. Most Republicans contend a government option would wipe out private competitors.
"We've heard that the reform would represent a government takeover of health care," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland said of Republican claims. "In point of fact, exactly the opposite is true."
Pelosi repeated her insistence that the chamber would pass a bill that contains the public option, but she softened on the timing, saying it would happen when appropriate. Previously, Pelosi had pushed for a House vote on the measure before the chamber goes on August recess at the end of this week.
"I said I wanted a bill to pass before the recess. I've also said members need the time they need to not only get the bill written and also to review it," Pelosi noted, adding that House members need to see what direction the Senate is heading on its proposals.
"We're on schedule to either do it now or do it whenever," the California legislator said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama's opposition to taxing employer-provided health benefits has slowed progress on passing a health care reform bill, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee complained Thursday.
"Basically, the president is not helping us," said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, after emerging from closed talks on the bill.
Baucus' criticism came on the same day the head of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said the health reform bills moving through Congress won't reduce long-term health care costs - in part because the bills don't include taxes on health benefits.
The comments by CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf provided ammunition for Republican opponents of the two Democratic-sponsored measures made public so far - one passed Wednesday by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and one proposed this week by House Democrats.
"I don't see any Republicans that have any interest in voting to ration care for their constituents, raise costs to their constituents, and put the federal government in charge of the best health care system in the world," said House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The health reform bills released so far would increase government spending on health care without sufficiently reining in health care costs.
And at least initially they aren't likely to significantly lower premiums for the majority of Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance.
That's the sobering takeaway from testimony Thursday by Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf.
Elmendorf's preliminary conclusions were based on a bill jointly released by three committees in the House this week and another bill passed by the Senate health committee on Wednesday.
"The creation of a new subsidy for health insurance ... would by itself raise federal spending on health care. ... [T]o offset that there have to be substantial reductions (on the tax or spending sides of the ledger]," Elmendorf told the Senate Budget Committee. "The changes we've looked at so far don't represent the fundamental change on the order of magnitude that would be necessary."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A health-care reform bill that includes a public insurance plan and requires employers to cover workers would cost $611 billion over 10 years, far less than previous estimates, according to a new analysis from Congress.
The figure is less than 40 percent of a June estimate by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which did not include those provisions. Nearly all Americans could be covered by the bill, its leading Democratic supporters said in releasing a new CBO estimate Thursday.
"The completed bill virtually eliminates the dropping of currently covered employees from employer-sponsored health plans," Sens. Edward Kennedy and Chris Dodd said in a letter to members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, one of two panels working on the legislation.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The federal government is likely to spend $835 billion this year fighting the crises in the financial system and the economy, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office.
That spending represents about 6% of the nation's gross domestic product.
Of that amount, $340 billion is going toward the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which is being used primarily to bail out banks, insurers and the auto industry. Another $290 billion in 2009 outlays is being used to prop up mortgage giants Fannie Mae (FNM, Fortune 500) and Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500).
In addition, $187 billion is being used for economic stimulus and relief efforts such as extended unemployment insurance.
As expensive as that seems, the CBO notes that "the current recession has little effect on long-term projections of non-interest spending and revenues."