July 2nd, 2009
11:45 AM ET
12 years ago

New estimate puts health-care pricetag at $611 billion

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.

"In addition, our bill, combined with the work being done by our colleagues in the Finance Committee, will dramatically reduce the number of uninsured - fully 97 percent of Americans will have coverage, a major achievement," they wrote.

The earlier CBO report put the cost of the less comprehensive bill at about $1.6 trillion over the same period. Supporters of a public plan, including President Barack Obama, have argued that a government-administered insurance program would keep down costs - and Obama said in a White House statement Thursday the latest bill reviewed "reflects many of the principles I've laid out."

soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. SUSAN

    Obama has never been specific on anything dated back from his campaign days. That was why I could not vote for him though I loved his speeches so much. He is a celebrity not a president.

    July 2, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. Brian

    "just wait until our medical care sinks to the level of other socialist countries" Eric, if you look at the facts, the US ranks very low in life expectancy compared to other industrialized countries and well behind those with some type of government sponsored medical system. Health Care in the US is years behind in technology and procedures to the point where many medical professionals from this country don't meet the minimum requirements to work in the same field in Europe.

    Honest Independant. He is pullling us out of Iraq. Did you not read the news that we have handed the cities over and that there is a timetable to leave the country completely?

    People need to get off of the "Socialized medicine" rant. What is being proposed is health insurance, not socialized medicine. The government isn't going to own the hospitals or employee the doctors and nurses. they will still be private organizations. Unlike the banks that GW nationalized.

    July 2, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Henry Miller

    $611 billion divided among about 80 million taxpaying American families mean that, on average, each of those families is going to be hit with a bill of over $7500. That's $7500 that won't be available for your kids' education, $7500 that won't be available for your retirement. It's a new car you'll have to put off buying until another year or a new house you may never be able to afford because the government took that $7500 away from you. All to pay the medical expenses of complete strangers too irresponsible to pay their own bills.

    July 2, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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