The Congressional Budget Office says a bill that would establish health coverage for all Americans would be budget neutral once fully implemented. Here's the letter from the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation to Sens. Ron Wyden and Robert Bennett. The legislation:
1) gets rid of employer based insurance (employers that contribute to coverage would give employees that money at first, and eventually shift to a federal health coverage tax)
2) requires all Americans to have health insurance
3) offers subsidized coverage up to 400% FPL (Mass is up to 300%)
4) sets up purchasing pools (like the Connector)
From the AP:
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., one of the plan's co-sponsors, said the report showed it is possible to provide health care coverage for all Americans — including the estimated 47 million people who are uninsured — without a large tax increase.
"We can get everyone in America health care coverage without breaking the bank," he said.
Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, the other sponsor of the legislation, said the report confirmed that the plan would not only cut health-care costs but actually save money in the long run.
"I am convinced we can reach our goal to improve coverage and provide affordable, private health insurance to every American," Bennett said at a news conference with Wyden and other Senate supporters of the bill.
This program aired on May 2, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.