Baucus' Plan Cost Less By Doing Much Less

Senator Baucus proudly touted what is in fact a very bad CBO score for his possible bipartisan bill. Almost everyone in the mainstream media parroted his claim that the CBO projection was, in fact, good without question. The Washington Post, Politico, WSJ, and CQpolitics all reported the “good news.” If the media know basic math their reporting would be more critical.

Baucus is very proud that the CBO said his bill would be under $900 billion and “would cover 95 percent of Americans by 2015.”

It is true that his bill would cost roughly 10% less than the House bill, which has a price tag just over $1 trillion. But Baucus' bill would cover 12% less uninsured by 2015. The CBO concluded the House bill would cover 97 precent of Americans by 2015. So Baucus' plan is cheaper simply because it leaves roughly 6 million more people without insurance. That is 12% of the projected number of uninsured in 2015.

On the basis of price per uninsured Americans covered by 2015, Baucus' plan is more expensive than the House bill. The CBO score does not prove Baucus' bipartisan bill is better written. It only proves it is less cost effective reform.

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