House Democrats Get Preliminary Numbers on Health Care Plans

House Democratic leaders are sharing preliminary cost analysis of their health care reform proposals with their rank-and-file members.


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) "scores" or analyzes the cost of such proposals.


The House asked the CBO to scrub three different scenarios. A senior House leadership aide familiar with the numbers told FOX that all three plans reduce the deficit over 20 years. CBO crunched two of the three options. But did not yet have an evaluation of a plan that could "trigger" a government-run health care plan, known as the "public option."


"We're excited by the CBO numbers," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who then shared the figures with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in a sit-down meeting.


The CBO cost analysis could make or break the bill in the House. Many moderate and fiscally-conscious Democrats are concerned the measure could cost too much. And a bill that busts the federal deficit could cost Democratic leaders votes.


"We're in an excellent place with the caucus with what they've put out," Pelosi said of the CBO's analysis. "We have to live by what they (CBO) put out."


But there was no final CBO score on the health care reform plans.


It's thought that Democratic leaders could be inching closer to bringing a health care reform bill to the House floor once they get a final CBO evaluation.


"We're just about there," Pelosi said.


House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has signaled that he'd like to have a health care reform bill on the House floor in the next few weeks.