The House speaker is thrilled to hear from the Congressional Budget Office that all three versions of the public option under consideration in the lower chamber would be cheaper than expected and would actually reduce the deficit over the next 10 years.

Pelosi, who is working to combine the three House health reform bills, says the news makes her life easier because it means “whatever choice we make will reduce the deficit and will pay for the bill.”

Bloomberg reports that the House is leaning toward a more robust public option that would peg costs to Medicare.

A new poll, meanwhile, shows that a growing majority of Americans favor the option. — PS


[Pelosi] asked CBO to provide estimates on three versions of the option — one based on reimbursement rates paid to healthcare providers under Medicare and two that would rely on reimbursement rates negotiated with the providers.

Pelosi said House leaders were still waiting on some information on one of the the options, but all three would be under $900 billion.

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