The Republican staff on the Senate Budget Committee has published an estimate of the cost of H.R. 3962 when fully implemented over ten years: $2.4 trillion.
The Blue Dogs in the House should be very, very worried by this estimate. Back in August, Stephen Parente, an expert on health-care financing at the University of Minnesota (and former volunteer policy advisor to the McCain campaign) came to a very similar conclusion:
Over the last few months, my colleagues and I at the consulting firm Health Systems Innovations have provided cost estimates of health-care reform to both Republican and Democratic members of Congress, and we’ve posted these estimates on our website as well. We believe that the Democratic bills currently under consideration in the House and Senate would cost $2.1 trillion and $2.4 trillion, respectively—much higher than CBO’s figures.
Speaker Pelosi has reportedly said that she’s willing to sacrifice seats in Congress to pass Democrats’ budget-busting health-care bills. Undoubtedly, Republicans will be happy to accept the sacrifice of her Blue Dog colleagues her behalf.