The idea of a government-paid national healthcare system hasn’t gotten very far in the Washington debate.
The road to passage of a top Obama priority will be even steeper in the Senate.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office figures taxpayers will lose about $159 billion from bailouts of the financial and auto industries.
The measure, which calls for the most striking government intervention in energy use since 1975, is up for a vote Friday.
A successful vote Friday could give the administration momentum on its biggest priority: healthcare reform.
Dire pronouncements aside, the process is just getting started, with legislation at a formative stage and Obama yet to offer his plan.
Estimates that a government-run plan could cost $1.6 trillion mean it won't pass Congress, said Sen. Lindsey Graham Sunday.
Price will be a major factor in winning bipartisan support, and the public insurance option could be a sticking point too.
Obama's plan could result in higher costs for insurers, employers, and those with private coverage.
Many doctors want to see caps on medical malpractice awards – something the president did not endorse in his healthcare speech on Monday.