Sunday, 18 October 2009


-- SCOOP -- WashPost 'Capitol Briefing,' 'CBO Estimates House Health Bill at $905B or Less,' by Lori Montgomery: 'Congressional budget analysts have given House leaders cost estimates for two competing versions of their plan to overhaul the health-care system, concluding that one comes within striking distance of the $900 billion limit set by President Obama and the other falls below it. House leaders have been working to lower the cost of the $1.2 trillion health-care package they offered in July. The report from the Congressional Budget Office, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, puts the cost of one plan at $859 billion over the next decade and the other at $905 billion. The cheaper version would rely heavily on a more dramatic expansion of Medicaid, the government health plan for the poor that is funded partly by the states -- meaning already-strapped governors would have to pick up more of the cost of reform.'

--THE PUBLIC OPTION LIVES, Patrick O'Connor and Carrie Budoff Brown report on p. 1: 'The forces in favor of a public health insurance option roared back Thursday on Capitol Hill after weeks when their cause looked bleak. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) looked closer than ever to including a robust U.S. government-run insurance program in the House bill - saying recent attempts by the health insurance industry to undercut reform prove insurers can't be trusted. And in the Senate, a weekly policy lunch turned into a heated debate when liberals went after the Senate Finance Committee bill and made clear they won't roll over for legislation that doesn't include a public option. Reflecting deep divides within the caucus, the Senate luncheon turned tense, with voices elevated and senators venting. 'In today's lunch, it even involved a little performance theater,' Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) said, describing it as an 'emotional catharsis.'

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