Key Takeaways from CBO Score of the Senate's ACA Replacement Plan

Wednesday, 28 Jun, 2017

On Thursday, Republicans Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee and Rand Paul said they were "not ready to vote for this bill", but were "open to negotiation".

The projected boost in uninsured people fed concerns by moderate Republican lawmakers that the Senate measure, annulling parts of Obama's 2010 overhaul, was too drastic.

Conservative Republicans, including Paul, claim the bill falls short of a campaign promise to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. The House could try to vote after the Senate to push the bill and get it to President Donald Trump before the weeklong July 4th recess.

The CBO estimates 1 million fewer Americans would lose insurance under the Senate plan than under the House-passed American Health Care Act.

SHAPIRO: And this bill would not only roll back the Affordable Care Act. The BCRA as written saves taxpayers $321 billion, and due to procedural reasons, McConnell can pare that number down to $119 billion - in other words, he could agree to spend more on Medicaid - in order to keep the BCRA in line with filibuster-proof reconciliation rules.

Of the 22 million without coverage by 2026 under the Senate plan, 15 million would be without it next year, the budget office said. He can afford to lose just two GOP votes and still pass the legislation, because Democrats are in lockstep against it. It would let states ease Obama's requirements that insurers cover certain specified services like substance abuse treatments, and eliminate taxes on wealthier people and medical companies that Obama's law used to expand coverage.

But the office said that overall, the Senate legislation would increase out of pocket costs for deductibles and copayments.

GOP senators headed to the White House Tuesday afternoon to talk to the president about the future of the bill.

The defectors include centrist Susan Collins of ME, moderate Dean Heller of Nevada, and conservatives Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

The Trump administration has said the Senate plan would end the individual coverage mandate, stabilize insurance markets, and give states flexibility in how they implement the new health care law; all while giving coverage to more people.

"Medicaid is a program that takes care of middle class Americans' long-term nursing home care when they've exhausted their savings", he said. Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, wote a letter to CBO Director Keith Hall, asking him to assess how the Senate bill would affect Medicaid coverage 20 or 30 years into the future. The bill would cut taxes, reduce the deficit and phase out the Medicaid expansion implemented by Barack Obama's health law.

Eventually, the Senate bill could have even more far-reaching effects than the CBO forecast shows. To be approved, no more than two of the 52 GOP senators can vote against it.