Leadership sources say that the bill Senate Majority Harry Reid is now presenting to the Democratic caucus would save the government $127 billion over the next ten years. Actual federal outlays would be $847 billion. The money would go to expanding Medicaid and creating subsidies for the purchase of private health insurance, extending coverage to 31 million Americans who might not otherwise have it. That's 94 percent of legal residents.
This is precisely the sort of score that Reid wanted and, undoubtedly, it will play well politically. But it's worth remembering that the Washington establishment's priorities don't always match up with the country's. This is a lot less money than the House is proposing to spend. That could reflect aggressive cost control features in the bill. Or it could reflect a decision to cut corners, by covering fewer people and/or providing lesser coverage.
So stay tuned, as more details become available. (I'll try to post short updates on my twitter account, @jcohntnr, through the evening.)
Updates: A Senate source reports leadership is already "booking time" for members this weekend--that is, scheduling turns in the chair, to preside over the chamber while some poor soul reads the entire bill. (I still think this is an opportunity Democrats should seize.)
Ezra Klein reports that the bill actually saves an additional $650 billion in the second decade. Wow. That's a big number. I'm curious to see how, exactly, it does that. (Update within update: Inflation has a little something to do with it.)
Jeffrey Young of The Hill has details on the abortion language. Reid modified it, but didn't embrace the Stupak amendment.