MSNBC is reporting that the CBO has scored the Senate’s merged bill as costing $849 billion dollars over 10 years. The bill would reduce the deficit by $127 billion by 2019 because of the revenue-raisers. There is absolutely no reason to listen to any Republican talking about the “strain on the deficit.” The House and Senate bills would reduce it.

It’s looking likely that Harry Reid will at least be able to get this bill on the floor, once he gets a full complement of 60 Democratic Senators (Max Baucus has a family emergency and went back to Montana for at least a couple days). Ben Nelson, fearing reconciliation, appears unlikely to block debate and vote against the motion to proceed, and I would imagine he speaks for his fellow ConservaDems on this point.

More information as it comes in.

…the bill covers 94% of all Americans according to CBO, a bit less than the House bill. It adds 31 million uninsured to the coverage rolls.

Landrieu and Lincoln may not yet be on board for the motion to proceed.

…according to this Fox News link (YMMV, but it’s a straight news piece), the CBO predicts that the bill would not only reduce the deficit by $127 billion in the first 10 years, but by a whopping $650 billion over the next 10 years after that (2020-2029), although that’s a shaky analysis given how far in the future it is.

…Here’s Ben Nelson’s statement on the motion to proceed. Sounds strongly like he’ll support it.

…CNN reports some comments from Landrieu and Nelson after their arm-twisting meeting with Reid. They both want to see the bill before committing, but they sound somewhat positive about at least moving the bill to the floor.

David Dayen

David Dayen