CBO Score on Baucus Bill Released

It's coming quite a bit later than expected, but the CBO score of the Finance Committee's healthcare reform bill has finally been released. Via Twitter, Salon's Mike Madden has the initial sketches:

Sources tell Salon CBO says Baucus bill would reduce deficit by $81 billion, spend $829 on coverage, cover 94 percent of the uninsured.

Associated Press White House reporter Phil Elliott tweets the same numbers. More on this as we hear it...

Update [2009-10-7 16:39:46 by Jonathan Singer]: Here's the CBO letter (.pdf).

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Gallup: Noticeable Drop in Opposition to HCR

So much for the notion that opposition to healthcare reform is gaining around the country. According to Gallup, momentum is clearly on the side of those in favor of reform.

Americans' views on healthcare legislation have shifted modestly over the past three weeks, with a slight plurality (40%) now supporting the passage of a new healthcare bill, and with fewer (36%) saying they oppose a new bill. When the leanings of those without an opinion are taken into account, 51% of Americans favor or lean toward favoring a bill, while 41% oppose it or lean toward opposition -- a more sizeable gap in favor than three weeks ago.

While a plurality of Americans, excluding leaners, previously opposed healthcare reform by a narrow 40 percent to 38 percent margin, current polling has those numbers flipped, and then some, with 40 percent supporting reform and just 36 percent opposing it -- a net swing of 6 points in just three weeks.

When leaners are thrown into the mix, the results are similar: Opposition to healthcare reform is on the decline. In September, supporters of healthcare reform led opponents by a slim 50 percent to 47 percent margin. Today, that lead has grown to 51 percent to 41 percent -- a net 7-point increase for the side of reform.

Although not everyone on Capitol Hill may be listening, the American people are speaking, and what they are saying is that they support broad-based reform of the nation's healthcare system.

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What Bipartisanship on Healthcare Means

Markos gets it right on Bill Frist's endorsement of healthcare reform:

And this speaks to a recurring theme of ours in the past few months -- "bipartisanship" doesn't necessarily mean getting Republican votes for the legislation, it's building support among all political factions around America. In polling, the public option consistently gets support from about a quarter of Republicans, and now we can add the former Senate majority leader, physician, and conservative stalwart Frist to that tally.

To flesh this out even more, bipartisanship on the issue of healthcare doesn't require that the hyper partisan Republicans in Congress -- and by and large that's who's left among within the sparse GOP ranks up on Capitol Hill -- support what President Obama is putting forward. Rather, bipartisanship means bringing Republicans into the coalition supporting healthcare reform. The President has already apparently done this with Bill Frist, who not even four years ago was one of the three or four highest ranking Republicans in the nation. He has also done it with the Republican base, a stunning one quarter of which supports a robust public option.

So while the small stub of what once was a significantly larger Republican caucus in Congress may be almost wholly unwilling to give even an inch on healthcare, a significant portion of Republicans around the country -- including some who not long ago were in the highest echelons of the party establishment -- are on board for the President's reform package.

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Reid Cancels Senate's October Break

Earlier this month, Harry Reid threatened to nix the Senate's traditional October recess in the event that Republican obstruction continued to slow down the pace of reform. Today brings word from The Hill's Alex Bolton that Reid is following through on this threat.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has cancelled the Senate's Columbus Day recess so that lawmakers can focus on passing healthcare reform legislation during the week of Oct. 12.

Reid said the Senate would likely take up healthcare legislation on the chamber floor that week.

The House will also be staying in session to hold votes through the week. This is not enough, of course; Congress will need to continue pushing forward, through the traditional October recess and beyond, if it hopes to enact healthcare reform this year. But it is a start.

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ACORN: It isn't what it seems

Or maybe it is...depending on how you look at it. I don't know if this diary is going to be popular here, or maybe it will be and all it'll do is resurrect the PUMAs, but hey, here it goes.

I agree with Glenn Greenwald, and I usually don't, that there's a double standard here and Blackwater, Halliburton should also be looked at under the same microscope as ACORN, but that doesn't excuse the fact that they really stepped in it.

and I agree with Glenn Beck that this organization has a lot of problems.  

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