Should the oft-criticized Nebraska Medicaid deal in the Senate healthcare bill be extended to all states, the proposal would cost $35 billion over a three year span, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
House Budget Committee ranking member Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) requested that the nonpartisan CBO score the hypothetical scenario.
Net spending on healthcare would increase by an estimated $35 billion between 2010 and 2019, according to a CBO report released Thursday. All of the spending, however, would take place between 2017 and 2019.
The report comes as Democratic leaders are discussing the removal the Nebraska deal from the healthcare bill in order to win over lawmakers in the House who oppose it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that House Democrats do not have the votes to pass the Senate bill verbatim in part because of the Nebraska deal.
Democratic leaders are currently scrambling to develop a new strategy to pass the healthcare bill after Republican Scott Brown won the Massachusetts special House election.
Republicans and some Democrats criticized the deal secured by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) as an act to buy off the centrist senators' vote. Nelson was the final holdout senator to decide to vote for the Senate healthcare bill, which passed last Christmas Eve.
The CBO previously estimated that the deal specific to Nebraska would cost $100 million. The deal would provide permament federal funding for new Medicaid patients under a new federal mandate requiring the program to expand its coverage.
For the rest of the states, the federal government would cover the cost of new patients from 2014 to 2016.
Nelson said in a floor speech that other states could get the same deal he secured for Nebraska.