News coming out of the Congressional Budget Office should add momentum to the Democrats’ effort to pass health-reform legislation, at least in the House. Democratic leadership has been tweaking the bill’s language to get the financial numbers right, and it appears to have succeeded.
Health reform legislation headed for a House vote will cost $940 billion over the next decade, according to the CBO.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) told lawmakers that the health bill would cut the deficit by $130 billion over the next decade, and $1.2 trillion in the second decade of the plan’s implementation.
The bill is more expensive than the healthcare measures passed by both the House and the Senate last year, though the CBO said that the current bill would make larger reductions in the deficit….
The release of the CBO score sets into motion a 72-hour endgame on healthcare that could mean a vote in the House on the package as early as Sunday morning.
The vote won’t be until Sunday to allow three days between the finalization of the package, expected soon, and the House vote.
Politico reports that under the CBO analysis, the bill will ensure that 95 percent of Americans have health insurance. In addition, “the CBO determined that the bill would reduce the annual growth in Medicare spending by 1.4 percent annually, and extend Medicare’s solvency by at least nine years, House Democrat aides said.”
In a related story, The New England Journal of Medicine has published a study on health-insurance reform in Massachusetts and its impact on the number of abortions performed in that state. In contrast to the plan in Washington, the Massachusetts plan provides subsidized coverage for abortions.
According to the study by Dr. Patrick Whelan, “the recent experience in Massachusetts suggests that universal health care coverage has been associated with a decrease in the number of abortions performed, despite public and private funding of abortion that is substantially more liberal than the provisions of the federal legislation currently under consideration by Congress.”
“The number of abortions in Massachusetts in 2006, the year before the new law was implemented, was 24,245, including 4,024 among teenagers…..
In 2007, the first year of Commonwealth Care, the number of abortions fell to 24,128, and in 2008, it fell to 23,883 — a decline of 1.5% from the 2006 level The number of abortions among teenagers in 2008 fell to 3,726, a 7.4% decline from 2006….
Massachusetts is one of 17 states that provide full coverage for abortion under the state Medicaid program (MassHealth) for the poorest residents, and abortion is a covered service under all the Commonwealth Care plans that cover the next tier of income earners. Yet in this midsized, ethnically diverse state, full insurance coverage of abortion services for all lower-income residents did not result in an increase in the number of abortions performed.”