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Dems to Address Cost of Health Care Reform Bill

Democratic leaders in the House are holding a press conference shortly on their sweeping $1.2 trillion proposal to revamp the nation’s health care system. As Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) might say: They have some ’splainin’ to do.

That’s because of damning testimony given yesterday by Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, which is charged with estimating the costs associated with legislative proposals. Regarding the Democrats’ health reform plans, Elmendorf told the Senate Budget Committee Thursday that their strategy would increase, rather than control, the long-term trajectory of health care costs that threatens to swallow the country’s economy.

“The curve is being raised,” he testified.

Republicans, already harshly critical of the Democrats’ proposals, pounced on the news.

Not that it’s slowed the process just yet. Indeed, the House Ways & Means Committee passed its portion of the House bill early this morning. Still, it’ll be interesting to see how Democrats will defend their proposal’s capacity to rein in health care spending in the wake of Elmendorf’s testimony.

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