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The cost of Health care for the low low price of 1.6T

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WASHINGTON – The latest cost estimates for health care legislation in Congress are around $1.6 trillion over 10 years, two Senate sources said Tuesday as concerns mounted over the price tag for the sweeping overhaul. Two Senate staffers, one Democratic and one Republican, said Congressional Budget Office estimates put the cost of the Finance Committee version of the bill at around $1.6 trillion.

On Monday, the budget office said the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee version would cost $1 trillion over ten years and only cover about one-third of the nearly 50 million uninsured.

The staffers who disclosed the latest estimates spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of negotiations over the legislation.

A third staffer, a Finance Committee Democratic aide who also spoke on condition of anonymity, indicated committee members are working to lower the cost to less than $1 trillion over 10 years, a level preferred by the Obama administration.

Costs are becoming a big worry for moderate Republicans the administration is hoping to win over, as well as for fiscally conservative Democrats. The high estimates have disappointed senators and slowed down the work of key committees.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, on Tuesday said the process that produced Kennedy's bill is "broken."

"We have a fundamental obligation to ensure this legislation does not increase the deficit and, sadly, current congressional health care reform efforts fall woefully short," Snowe said in a statement. Obama also says he wants the bill to be fully paid.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discounted the importance of the early estimates, while saying the administration wants to keep the cost at about $1 trillion over 10 years, with about two-thirds of that coming from shifting funds from existing health programs like Medicare and Medicaid

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by on Jun. 16, 2009 at 5:52 PM
Replies (11-12):
by Member on Jun. 17, 2009 at 9:53 AM

Quoting Cathy1983km:

I think that everyone should have insurance. I do not believe the government should provide insurance, but there should be laws stating that insurance companies can only charge so much, and they shouldn't be able to drop people for just anything, or deny someone insurance because they have a "pre-existing condition."

there are people who do not have insurance b/c they do not want to pay for it. It sucks to pay for things and if you don;t want to pay, then that is your choice. Why should I pay for those who do not want to pay? I am not talking about the impoverished. I am talking about those who have money but do not want to pay for insurance, They choose not to be insured. Sure it is expensive and I guess they'd rather spend it on other things but we all have sacrifices and places where we should designate our money.

by Member on Jun. 18, 2009 at 3:13 AM

Yes it will be expensive butt not nearly as expensive as having an unhealthy country.

I would like to see a way where people who deliberately put their health at risk pay more taxes and those who try to be healthy pay less. It would be hard but I am thinking on the lines of much higher taxes on alchol, cigarettes, high sugar and high fat foods.  Much lower taxes on produce, whole grains, exercise equipment etc...   

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