Numbers on Senate Health Care Bill Sound Promising

The initial numbers for the Senate health care reform bill sound good per Jonathan Cohn:

The Office of the Actuary for Medicare has issued its long-awaited cost estimate for the Senate’s health care reform bill. I’ve only had a few hours to digest it and talk with outside experts.* But these seem to be the main points:

The bad news: Overall, according to the estimate, we’ll be spending more on health care come 2019 than we would if we did nothing.

The not-so-bad news: The difference is tiny, in relative terms, and even smaller than it was for the House bill, which was hardly big.

The good news: The underlying trend is in the right direction. As more time passes, it’s more likely we’ll save money.

Overall, considering the value of coming closer to universal coverage and protecting those who do have coverage from losing it, to spend a modest amount more than we are now spending on health care sounds like a good deal.