If the Republican-controlled Congress enacted President Bush's entire health care agenda, as many as 10 million people who lack health insurance would be covered at a cost of $102 billion over the next decade, according to his campaign aides.
But when the Bush-Cheney team was asked to provide documentation, the hard data fell far short of the claims, a gap supported by several independent analyses.
Projections by the Congressional Budget Office, the Treasury Department, academics and the campaign's Web site suggest that under the best circumstances, Bush's plans for health care would extend coverage to no more than 6 million people over the next decade and possibly as few as 2 million.
"There's little reason to expect that there would be any reduction in the overall numbers of Americans without health insurance," Brookings Institution health policy expert Henry J. Aaron said. "We're swimming against a rather swift current in our efforts to reduce the number of uninsured, and the power of President Bush's proposals to move against that current is, it seems to me, very, very limited."
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