Senate CBO Scores Is In — What Does it Mean?
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report for the Senate’s healthcare bill arrived Monday afternoon. The report outlines the effects of the Senate bill – named the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 – would have on the economy in the next ten years.
According to the CBO, 22 million Americans would lose their coverage in the next decade, with 15 million uninsureds in 2015. The report also indicated that premiums would increase in the first two years of the bill, drawing concern from both sides of the aisle.
Already, some GOP Senators are expressing doubts over the bill. Moderate Republican Senator Susan Collins said she could not support the bill as written after the CBO report.
Four conservative Republican Senators — Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Ron Johnson and Mike Lee – voiced their concerns that the bill resembles the ACA, the bill they are trying to repeal – too closely.
“The Senate healthcare bill released [Thursday] does not repeal Obamacare. It doesn’t even significantly reform American healthcare,” Lee wrote in a 900-word letter to his constituents on Friday.
No Democrat supports the bill.
McConnell still plans to have the vote for the bill at the end of the week, before Congress adjourns for the July 4th holiday.
These defections leave Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a difficult position, negotiating between two disparate factions within his party. With only 52 Republican Senators, McConnell can only afford to lose two votes from his party, leaving Vice President Mike Pence to cast the tiebreaking vote.
Already, revisions have been made to the bill the CBO scored. One revision places a penalty for extended gaps in coverage by placing a six-month waiting period for anyone whose coverage lapses for more than 63 days and wants to reenroll in an individual market.
As McConnell’s self-imposed deadline looms closer, more revisions will come as holdouts negotiate new provisions.
Join Benjamin Conley, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw and Faculty of the Health Care Reform Center & Policy Institute as he answers any questions you may have regarding recent developments and what is coming on the horizon for the healthcare bill this Thursday at 4 pm EST.