The CBO score for the Senate’s version of the American Healthcare Act (AHCA) has been released, and it found that enacting it would reduce the cumulative federal deficit from 2017-2026 by $321 billion. On the other hand, the score also found that the bill would increase the number of people who are uninsured by 22 million in 2026 relative to the number under current law. Fifteen million of those would lose their coverage in 2018.
However, it isn’t completely accurate to describe it as “losing” insurance, as many would simply stop buying the insurance because the repeal of the individual mandate would allow them to do so without paying a penalty. As the National Review’s Doug Badger noted, “in its analysis of the Senate bill, the CBO predicts that repealing the tax on the uninsured would next year induce 7 million people to cancel their individual insurance policies, 4 million to drop their job-based coverage, and 4 million others to abandon Medicaid, even though the government provides it free of charge in most cases.”
Despite Republican control of the Senate, we have confirmation now that enough Republican Senators are voicing opposition to the Bill to prevent it from being passed. Only four Republicans need to vote “no” on the Bill to prevent it from passing, and according to HotAir, at least five have voiced opposition to the bill:
Both Dean Heller and Rand Paul have said they won't vote on the motion to proceed to the health bill. McConnell can only lose 1 more.
— Jonathan Weisman (@jonathanweisman) June 26, 2017
Mike Lee's spokesman tells me: "Lee will not vote to proceed to a bill he can't support."https://t.co/eGe2fSyA09
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) June 26, 2017
New: @RonJohnsonWI just told me if senate gop leadership insists on moving to h care this week he will vote against motion to proceed.
— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) June 27, 2017
I want to work w/ my GOP & Dem colleagues to fix the flaws in ACA. CBO analysis shows Senate bill won't do it. I will vote no on mtp. 1/3
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) June 26, 2017
Technically there are also five declared Republican “no” votes on the bill itself — but not the same five as above. Ted Cruz has said he can’t vote for the bill in its current form but hasn’t weighed in yet on the motion to proceed. Presumably he’ll also vote no on the MTP since he and Lee tend to vote together on these things. Likewise, if Collins is a no on the MTP, presumably she’s also a no on the bill in its current form. That means McConnell has already lost six Republicans when he can only afford to lose two.
The entire GOP caucus is meeting for lunch today. If it looks like they don’t have the numbers for a motion to proceed, McConnell will likely postpone consideration of the bill until after the July 4th recess. That’ll give him more time to work on improvement — but it’ll also give Democrats time to organize pressure tactics on wary Republicans over the recess.
The House and Senate didn’t have any trouble passing countless Obamacare repeals when Barack Obama was President. What’s the hold up now?