Money for health care bill hard to get

Marketplace Staff Jul 6, 2009
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Money for health care bill hard to get

Marketplace Staff Jul 6, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Back to work this morning, and for Congress, that means sorting out health care reform proposals. Danielle Karson says this is gonna be an epic battle.


Danielle Karson: Three key committees are collaborating on the House version of the health care bill. And once the Senate Finance Committee comes out with its version this week, the horse trading will begin. Whatever emerges, the final bill will include a funding mechanism that’s certain to spark controversy.

Paul Ginsburg heads the Center for Studying Health System Change:

Paul Ginsburg: That funding’s going be hard to get, because it’s going to mean raising some peoples’ taxes, making spending cuts, and that’s a very large amount of money.

The Congressional Budget Office has crunched some new numbers. It says the proposed reforms will cost roughly $611 billion over 10 years. That’s far less than an earlier estimate of $1 trillion.

Funding ideas include reducing Medicare payments to hospitals and taxing employer-provided health insurance. Ginsburg also worries the push for a government-run insurance program could derail health care reform this year.

Ginsburg: That to me is actually one of the biggest risks, where it’s possible that people who are insisting on a public plan will not yield on it, and we wind up with just a deadlock and no bill.

But most analysts seem confident Congress will hammer out a final bill before its summer recess.

In Washington, I’m Danielle Karson for Marketplace.

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