CBO: Senate healthcare reform bill to cost $849 billion

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The Senate healthcare reform bill will cost $849 billion over the next 10 years and cover 31 million uninsured Americans, according to a preliminary Congressional Budget Office analysis disclosed late Wednesday.

The bill also would lower the deficit by $127 billion over the next decade, said a Democratic leadership aide, who provided the CBO information. The bill meets one condition of the president, who asked that the bill cost less than $900 billion.

Meanwhile, the powerful seniors lobbying group AARP declined House Republicans' request for an endorsement for their healthcare reform bill. The seniors' lobbying group endorsed the Democratic plan because it would strengthen traditional Medicare benefits, close the Part D coverage gap, limit age-based discrimination and help curtail skyrocketing Medicare costs for seniors, according to the response from AARP spokesman Jim Dau.