Health and Science

Senate-Passed Health Bill Would Cut Deficit: CBO

Capitol Hill Headlines

Congressional budget referees say Senate legislation that's now the foundation for President Barack Obama's health care plan would cut the federal deficit by $118 billion over 10 years.

The Congressional Budget Office says the $875 billion, 10-year plan would provide coverage to 31 million people who'd otherwise be uninsured. And it says the cost would be more than offset in savings from changes in Medicare and other programs.

Obama's plan would build on the legislation passed by the Senate on Christmas Eve, by expanding subsidies for health insurance premiums, closing the Medicare prescription coverage gap, and making scores of other changes.

No estimates are yet available for Obama's latest proposal, but Democratic leaders want to keep the 10-year cost at around $950 billion.