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Baucus Says Health Reform Bill Now Under $1 Trillion

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, June 25, 2009

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-MT, said today he is "even more confident" that lawmakers can shape a health reform package that would cost below $1 trillion in a plan that could become law by the end of the year.

"We are much closer on the scores for a healthcare reform package than we were at this point last week," Baucus said in a statement.

"We have options the Congressional Budget Office tells us would cost under $1 trillion and are fully paid for."

He added, "We will not put out a mark until we are sure we have it right."

The new proposal will have lower costs and provide quality, affordable coverage for all Americans, his statement said.

Previous estimates from the CBO found that an earlier health reform proposal would be far more expensive, and would take money away from other government health payments. That created an erosion of support and more skepticism as to whether health reform would pass this year.

However, Baucus is confident with today's announcement.

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