Waiting For The Numbers

The Congressional Budget Office is supposed to come out with its scoring today of the Senate Finance Committee's health care measure. If it doesn't say the bill is deficit neutral, then the chairman, Max Baucus, and the White House have a big problem. Some conservative Dems could be all aflutter and this morning on Fox News, Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the committee, talked about starting all over again. I doubt that, but this is one of those moments worth paying attention to. Of course, scoring is an inexact science at best. No one can ever foresee how much a program will cost, especially when it's a new entitlement. But this is the best we've got, and that's what Congress will work with.

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Matthew Cooper is a managing editor (White House) for National Journal.

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