CBO Numbers On House Health Care Bill Are Fake

The Congressional Budget Office has not scored the House health care reform proposal, despite reports that it had estimated the plan would cost taxpayers upwards of $1.5 trillion, Melissa Merson, a CBO spokeswoman, told the Huffington Post.

CongressDaily reported earlier Tuesday that the package had been scored -- legislative lingo for a cost estimate -- at a figure that would make passage of the House bill in the Senate difficult.

The report caused a stir on the Hill and stoked fears of a setback.

"THERE. IS. NO. SCORE," e-mailed one frustrated committee aide.

Three committees -- Ways and Means; Education and Labor; and Energy and Commerce -- are working on the bill.

Negotiations over the package continue. Democratic staffers are meeting now to decide how to pay for the health care overhaul, said a Democratic aide, with a set of proposals expected later Tuesday or early Wednesday.

UPDATE: In a statement unusual in its harsh wording, all three committees are pushing back against the story.

The Press Offices of the House Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce and Education and Labor Committees released the following statement today in response to an inaccurate report published in CongressDaily asserting that the House Tri-Committee health care reform legislation has been scored by the Congressional Budget Office:

"This report is premature and entirely fabricated. In fact, none of the reporters working on this piece contacted our press offices to fact check their story. The three House committees are still working to develop legislation and have not yet received a score from CBO on the discussion draft. As the three chairmen have made clear, our health care reform legislation will be paid for and we're still considering revenue options."

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