Health care could take chunk out of U.S. deficit

Washington - (NBC) - President Obama postponed his Asian trip again, in hopes of signing a health care reform bill.

The delay comes after a new, impartial estimate found the Obama plan will deeply cut the deficit.

The CBO report that means more wavering democrats are likely to vote yes which is just what democratic leaders had hoped for.

The non partisan Congressional Budget Office crunched the numbers and reports the Obama health care reform plan would cut the deficit by more than a trillion dollars over 20 years.

"That makes this legislation the most significant effort to reduce deficits since the balanced budget act in the 1990s," the president said.

Democratic leaders are relieved.

"Speaks very eloquently to the deficit reduction that is in our package," said Pelosi.

Seventy-two hours have to pass between the CBO report and a vote in the House, and the Republicans are already on the defense.

"It's not too late - all we need is enough dems in the House of Representatives to do the right thing for the American people," said Kentucky republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

That's the key.  How many votes will switch?

More than a dozen House democrats have said they'd be more likely to vote yes if the CBO confirmed that the Obama health care reform plan would leave the U.S. Treasury a lot healthier.

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