A nearly completed analysis by the Congressional Budget Office indicates that Rep. Jim Cooper's health care bill--the chief rival to President Clinton's plan--would increase the deficit by at least $150 billion over six years, according to knowledgeable sources.
The report by the congressional agency that estimates the cost of legislation would be a major blow to proponents of Cooper's "managed competition" approach to health care reform. The agency also has found that about 25 million people could remain uninsured under his plan, sources said.
"We feel strongly that our bill will not add to the deficit," Cooper said Wednesday night. "When has the federal government ever gotten the health care spending right?"
Cooper, a Democrat from Tennessee, said he had not seen the CBO draft and he believes a CBO analysis of an early version of his bill drastically underestimated the savings from the increased competition among doctors and hospitals that his plan would put in place.