WASHINGTON (CNN) - A preliminary estimate from the Congressional Budget Office projects that the House Democrats' health care plan that includes a public option would cost $871 billion over 10 years, according to two Democratic sources.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/10/21/health.care.cbo/art.pelosi.afp.gi.jpg.jpg caption="Nancy Pelosi, right, here with Harry Reid, proposes a "more robust" public option. The CBO analyzed the plan."]
CBO also found that the Democrats' bill reduces the deficit in the first 10 years.
This new CBO estimate, which aides caution is not final, is significantly less than the $1.1 trillion price tag of the original House bill that passed out of three committees this summer. More importantly, it comes under the $900 billion cap set by President Obama in his joint address to Congress last month.
CBO analyzed what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls a "more robust" public option - one that ties reimbursement rates for doctors to current Medicare rates, plus a 5 percent increase.
At a meeting with House Democrats on Tuesday night, Pelosi did not release CBO's preliminary numbers, but told members that CBO told leaders the House bill would cost well below $900 billion. Aides say final CBO numbers could be released on Wednesday.
Ian Pearl suffers from muscular dystrophy. He uses a wheelchair and a ventilator, and in less than a month and a half he’s scheduled to lose his health insurance.
His insurance company, Guardian, decided to cancel a series of old policies in three states, leaving Ian without coverage. His family sued, and their lawyers discovered an internal company e-mail that referred to high cost policies like Ian’s as “dogs.”
The company has apologized, but for now, they’re going forward with their policy cancellations. The Pearl family is appealing to the Obama administration for help – adding their voices to calls for health care reform.
Ian has a new battle cry: "I am not a dog."