CBO Report Could Determine Future of AHCA
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is expected to release a report “scoring” the American Health Care Act (ACHA), the Republican plan to repeal and replace the ACA soon. The CBO is a non-partisan government agency created to analyze budgetary and economic issue to help Congress make well-informed decisions about the legislation they pass. The report is expected sometime this week, perhaps as early as Monday.
The report will contain a lot of information including everything from the costs and impact in the number of insured Americans, the bill’s impact on premiums and how many people could lose Medicaid coverage.
The report is expected to show that millions of people could lose their coverage under the new proposal, and potentially derailing efforts to enact the bill early.
On Wednesday, March 8th, the Trump Administration began discrediting the CBO ahead of the expected release of the ACHA scoring. Sean Spicer, White House press secretary claimed that because of the agency’s failure to predict the enrollment of Americans in to the online marketplaces, their creditability has been destroyed.
“If you’re looking to the C.B.O. for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place,” said Spicer.
While some Republicans supported Spicer’s sentiment, not everyone on the right supports the bill. Last Thursday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) called the bill “Obamacare Lite” and said the bill was dead on arrival to the senate. Then on Sunday, March 12th, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) said the bill has no chance to the pass the Senate and could end up costing Republicans control of the house in the 2018 elections.
“Do not walk the plank and vote for a bill that cannot pass the Senate and then have to face the consequences of that vote,” Cotton warned his House colleagues.
Democrats don’t like the bill either and are expected to vote against the bill unanimously.
So what is in the CBO report could make or break the future of this bill. If the moderate Republicans who are still on the fence in support of this bill do not like the costs they see, or the amount of people expected to lose insurance in their district is too high, they may not support the bill and force Republicans back to the drawing board.