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CBO Says Senate Health Bill Would Expand Coverage, Reduce Deficit

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The assessment by Congress's nonpartisan auditors has been awaited by committee members as they prepare to vote on the bill, perhaps as soon as Thursday. And the CBO report lends a huge political boost to the Finance Committee's work: distinguishing it as the only one of five bills drafted by various congressional committees that meets every important test established by President Obama and key Democratic leaders.

-- It would cost less than $900 billion over the next decade;

-- It would vastly expand coverage; and

-- It would keep Obama's pledge that health reform will not increase budget deficits by "one dime" now or in the future.

"This is transformative. This is game-changing," Finance committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said. "For two years now, that's exactly what we have been doing in the Finance Committee -- working to get this result."

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