Dem chairman requests CBO report on design of single-payer bill

House Budget Committee Chairman John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthHouse Democrats plead with key committee chairman to allow remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic Kentucky Democrat: House lawmakers will not vote remotely during outbreak Dem Congressman: Coronavirus stimulus should be bigger than 2008 MORE (D-Ky.) on Tuesday requested information from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) about single-payer health care proposals, a step forward in consideration of the idea.

In a letter to the CBO, Yarmuth requested a report on the “design and policy considerations lawmakers would face in developing single-payer health system proposals.”

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Getting input from the CBO is an important step forward for consideration of single-payer health care, sometimes also known as "Medicare for all." The idea has gained new momentum with Democrats taking control of the House.

Republican Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoOvernight Energy: House stimulus aims to stem airline pollution | Environmental measures become sticking point in Senate talks | Progressives propose T 'green stimulus' GOP blames environmental efforts, but Democrats see public health problems with stimulus Rand Paul's coronavirus diagnosis sends shockwaves through Senate MORE (R-Wyo.) in the last session of Congress requested a CBO analysis of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersCoronavirus makes the campaign season treacherous for Joe Biden Biden could be picking the next president: VP choice more important than ever Democrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus MORE’s (I-Vt.) single-payer proposal, with the hope that it would hurt the effort by highlighting its high costs.

Yarmuth, on the other hand, is not requesting an analysis of a specific bill, so it will not carry a headline cost number the way a score of Sanders’s bill would. Instead, Yarmuth is looking for information on various important decisions Democrats will have to make on single-payer.

The CBO report is a precursor to hearings in the Budget Committee.

"The House Budget Committee will soon schedule hearings to review potential ways to achieve affordable, high-quality health care coverage for everyone, including Medicare for All,” Yarmuth said in a statement. “To begin that work, I have requested that the Congressional Budget Office provide a report on the design considerations that policymakers should consider in developing proposals to establish a single-payer system in the United States.”