The Senate health care bill looks better and better every day, and Republican objections ring more and more hollow.
The Congressional Budget Office said Monday that the Senate health bill could significantly reduce costs for many people who buy health insurance on their own, and that it would not substantially change premiums for the vast numbers of Americans who receive coverage from large employers.
The eagerly awaited report, which came as the Senate began debate on the legislation, provided Democrats with ammunition against Republicans who have criticized the bill on the ground that it would raise costs for a majority of Americans.
Centrist Democrats like Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, whose votes are vital to President Obama’s hopes of getting the bill approved, had feared that the measure would drive up costs for people with employer-sponsored coverage. After reading the budget office report, Mr. Bayh said he was reassured on that point.
Before taking account of federal subsidies to help people buy insurance on their own, the budget office said the bill would tend to drive up premiums. But as a result of the subsidies, it said, most people in the individual insurance market would see their costs decline, compared with the costs expected under current law. The subsidies, a main feature of the bill, would cost the government nearly $450 billion in the next 10 years and would cover nearly two-thirds of premiums for people who receive them.
We are on the verge of historic health care reform in the United States.
Keep the fire burning.