Oct 24, 2009 9:40 AM by Associated Press

House health care bill exceeds $1 trillion

Congressional officials say health care legislation taking shape in the House carries a price tag of at least $1 trillion over a decade. That's significantly higher than the target President Barack Obama has set.

Democrats have touted an unreleased Congressional Budget Office estimate of $871 billion in recent days. But numerous officials acknowledge it understates the bill's true cost by $150 billion or more. The officials say $871 billion figure excludes several items designed to improve benefits for Medicare and Medicaid recipients and providers, as well as public health programs and more.

The officials who disclosed the details did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss them publicly. Some moderate Democrats have expressed reluctance to support a bill as high as $1 trillion. Obama has said that he prefers a package with a price tag of around $900 billion.




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