CBO Score: 10 Years, $940B — With $132B Shaved from Deficit

By Matt Loffman

Mar 18, 2010 10:23am

ABC News' Dean Norland and Z. Byron Wolf report:

While Democratic Congressmen were getting these numbers behind closed doors, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., and Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., talked to cameras about them.

Clyburn said Democratic leaders are "absolutely giddy" about the numbers, preliminarily $940 billion cost over ten years, with $132 billion in deficit reduction over ten years and $1.2 trillion over 20.

The numbers, stressed Becerra, are preliminary until they are formally released by CBO.

But he said, "Today we have one health care reform plan."

It is a plan that will cover 32 million more Americans, one million more than the Senate bill.

Both men referred to 2/3 of the costs of the bill coming from cost savings, primarily in Medicare. They said the CBO estimate will show that the plan would make Medicare solvent for eight years longer than otherwise if the spending cuts are adhered to.

It is unclear exactly how the Democrats have wrung extra money from Medicare or how they deal with a controversial tax on high-cost health plans; the entire plan is not yet public.

That public release of the bill is expected early this afternoon and it will set in motion a 72-hour clock until Democrats bring the bill to a final vote in the House, likely Sunday.

Last Sunday Clyburn, who is in charge of marshalling votes for Democrats, said he did not yet have the votes to pass the bill.

But the deficit reduction in the CBO score will help matters, he said, and he will start asking wavering members for commitments on the bill starting this evening.

At that point, Clyburn said he will feel "more comfortable" about the bill.

"We are much closer today," he said.

They did not say exactly how they tweaked the President's proposal and the Senate bill.

UPDATE: The CBO this morning posted its analysis of the proposed legislation HERE.

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