Waiting On CBO

This year's battles over health care reforms have produced something we really haven't seen before in the Congress, as lawmakers have been forced to delay their work while congressional budget analysts review the proposals of both parties.

That was one reason why it took the House so long to get their bill in order, as Democratic leaders pledged to wait for the Congressional Budget Office to issue cost estimates, all to insure that it wasn't adding money to the federal deficit.

And that's why we are on hold in the Senate this week, even as leading Democrats and President Obama urge action by the end of the year.

It was back on October 26 that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid announced at a news conference that he was going with a public health insurance option, and submitting other choices to the CBO for review, before putting together a final bill.

Well, it is now November 13, two and a half weeks later, and the CBO hasn't produced figures as yet.  Democrats are hoping to get those figures today, so they can finalize their bill for debate on the Senate floor.

In the interim, the CBO has been churning out all kinds of regular budget reviews for legislation from the Congress that has nothing at all to do with health care.

For example, on Wednesday, there was a short CBO report on a cost estimate for S. 1755, the Amateur Radio Communications Enhancement Act.

Then there was H.R. 2994, the Satellite Home Viewer Reauthorization Act of 2009.

So while the CBO methodically does its work, Senate Democrats wait to see what the verdict is on their health care proposals.  And then, they'll do some cut and paste and introduce a bill.

Meanwhile, I did some work to see if I could find a permanent link from the Library of Congress for the House passed health care bill.

The answer is - almost.

If you still want to take a look, go to http://is.gd/4TDE0

Then click on the second version of the bill H.R.3962.EH

If you find something good buried in those 2,016 pages, let me know!

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