We'll be hearing more about this as the day goes on, but the early report on the CBO numbers shows a decline in the deficit:
U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on Thursday that proposed final healthcare legislation would cut the U.S. deficit by more than $100 billion over the first 10 years.
Hoyer told reporters that the Congressional Budget Office said the sweeping healthcare overhaul would cut the deficit by more than $1 trillion over the subsequent decade. The CBO is expected to release its official estimate of the cost of the Democratic-written legislation on Thursday.
Oy. This guy again.
You know, the one who told Virginia universities it was okay to discriminate against gay students? Or how he told Virginia residents that he thought he could challenge Obama's presidency based on his birth place? Or how he said he wasn't getting a Social Security number for his kid because it's being "used to track you"? That's the guy, freakishly right wing, birther numbskull Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
He's talking big again:
Virginia will file suit against the federal government if the Democrats' health care reform bill is approved, said a spokesman for Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) this afternoon.
Cuccinelli has suggested previously he would likely file suit, but spokesman Brian Gottstein said that Virginia's lawsuit over government health care is now certain. Although Gottstein gave no details of the legal basis for this kind of lawsuit, he indicated that the process is "still being worked out."
In a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Cuccinelli warns Democrats of using the "deem and pass" approach, which would not permit a freestanding vote on the Senate-passed health care reform bill.
They're working out those pesky little details like a legal basis to sue. Of course. I hope they don't let precedent like the vilified "deem and pass" being used over 100 times keep them from wasting the People's tax dollars on frivolous lawsuits. I'm sure the irony of that doesn't even penetrate through his dense little birther skull.
Ezra Klein has the details:According to a Democratic source, CBO has finished its work and will release the official preliminary score later today. But here are the basic numbers: The bill will cost $940 billion over the first 10 years and reduce the[...]
Read The Full Article:
The first set of the much-anticipated CBO numbers are out:
- CUTS THE DEFICIT Cuts the deficit by $130 billion in the first ten years (2010 – 2019). Cuts the deficit by $1.2 trillion in the second ten years.
- REINS IN WASTEFUL MEDICARE COSTS AND EXTENDS THE SOLVENCY OF MEDICARE; CLOSES THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG DONUT HOLE Reduces annual growth in Medicare expenditures by 1.4 percentage points per year—while improving benefits and lowering costs for seniors. Extends Medicare’s solvency by at least 9 years.
- EXPANDS AND IMPROVES HEALTH COVERAGE FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES Expands health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans Helps guarantee that 95 percent of Americans will be covered.
- IS FULLY PAID FOR Is fully paid for – costs $940 billion over a decade. (Americans spend nearly $2.5 trillion each year on health care now and nearly two-thirds of the bill’s cost is paid for by reducing health care costs).
This gives wavering Democrats a firm reason to vote yes. Will the final dominos start falling today?
Update: As noted by Ezra Klein:
... that's more deficit reduction than either the House or Senate bill, and more coverage than the Senate bill.
For more discussion, see yank2351's diary.
It starts today a little after 12 EST.
12:20 games - Florida v. BYU (Go Gators!), Old Dominion v. Notre Dame, Robert Morris v. Villanova.
2:30 games - Murray State v. Vandy, North Texas v. Kansas State, Sam Houston St. v. Baylor, St. Mary's v. Richmond.
My picks in bold. This is an Open Thread.
Dennis Kucinich didn't just switch his own vote on Reform. He's now helping House leadership whip the vote with other wavering members, something colleagues find astonishing and say they've never seen him do before. [...]
Read The Full Article:
Health insurance companies have always claimed that they support “affordable, high-quality health care for every American” and are supportive of health care reform efforts and not simply concerned with their profits. To try to project this image of compassion for the uninsured, WellPoint Inc. — which recently came under fire for planning double-digit rate hikes in at least eleven states — pledged three years ago to use its charitable foundation to spend $30 million to assist the uninsured receive care.
A new investigative report by the Los Angeles Times finds that WellPoint’s foundation has completely failed to meet its promise of spending $30 million to help the uninsured. Rather, the company spent $6.2 million — a paltry 11 percent of what the company promised:
WellPoint’s public records indicate that from 2007 to 2009 the foundation gave less than $6.2 million in grants targeted specifically at helping uninsured Americans get access to coverage and care — barely one-fifth of what was promised and just 11% of the charity’s total giving over the last three years.
“It was just not something that the company really wanted to do,” said one former executive, who, like others interviewed for this story, asked not to be identified out of concern that discussing WellPoint could have adverse career consequences. “So it went by the wayside.”
The Times created a graph that charts WellPoint’s charitable giving since 2007 and showed how little of the insurers’ charitable spending actually went to helping the uninsured:
An investigation by Congress earlier this year found that WellPoint’s Chief Executive Angela F. Braly had a salary of $1.1 million last year and stock options valuing approximately $8.5 million, meaning that the company couldn’t spend anywhere near what it spends on just one of its own employees to help the uninsured it claims to care about.
A number of TPM Readers wrote in over recent days telling us they'd called Rep. Eliot Engel's (D-NY) office and been told, to their surprise, that he was leaning against voted for the Health Care Reform bill. The issue was over Medicaid reimbursement[...]
Read The Full Article:
BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY
by Robert C. Koehler, Tribune Media Services
America?s charade of change comes complete with national ?debate? and a slight readjustment of the center to accommodate the Bush Lite policies of the Obama presidency.
What matters is that any change President Obama proposes be symbolic rather than substantive. A furious battle then ensues over the symbolic change so that, if it does finally come to pass ? with the president weathering the endless flow of invective and fear-mongering from the Republican right ? it will appear as though something was actually accomplished.
Meanwhile, business as usual holds course. The great swell of hope for a renewal of American society that swept Obama into office ? for a real accounting of the crimes of the Bush administration, not to mention a reversal of its most heinous policies and a return to value-based governance ? dissipates into the vague, scattered disappointment of millions of supporters, who once again have no focus for their disaffection.
If you want to see how Nancy Pelosi gets the votes, Kucinich offers a hint. She unites her left flank, as these folks may not like the bill, but they love what the bill is trying to do and they don't want to destroy Barack Obama's presidency. And then she goes to however many Blue Dogs and strays as she needs and says, basically, that this bill is more to your liking than the original. The cost controls are stronger, the public option is gone and there's even an entitlement reform component. You won! This argument, incidentally, has the virtue of being true.
(Emphasis supplied.) Of course, Ezra won too. He wanted those exchanges and did not care for the public insurance reform. I wonder what he would be writing today if he had lost?
Speaking for me only