The CBO’s projection of the Senate uninsured rate, compared to the House’s of 23 less insured, is largely due to how the premiums tax credits are set up.
“It certainly makes me more concerned”, Senator Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican, said on CNN after the score was released. NPR’s Scott Horsley joins us now.
But the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate on the cost and impact of the bill isn’t doing the Republicans any favors. So where do they think these coverage reductions are coming from?
SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Ari, the biggest drop would be in Medicaid. The national group acknowledges not all states agree with the group’s position, which says proposed Medicaid changes would “transfer risk, responsibility and cost to the states of historic proportions”. This bill would shrink it. As a result of the surcharge, it said, two million fewer people would enroll, and the people most likely to be deterred would be those who are healthy. The move is a counter-intuitive way to get people coverage.
The budget scorekeeper said Monday that next year, 15 million more people would be uninsured under the Senate’s measure because Obamacare’s individual mandate that forces a penalty on the uninsured would be eliminated. This is it. This is the only bill that you’re going to get a chance to vote for that does that.
HORSLEY: Well, it doesn’t help. Just this evening, since this report came out, we’ve had one Republican senator – Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from ME – say definitively that she will not vote for this Senate bill.
The legislation intends to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, and has already faced tough criticism from Democrats like Sen. All of us, including Republicans whose constituents depend on Medicaid to survive, must work together to see that this bill is defeated. And remember, Ari, that Republicans have very little margin for error here.
To pass, the bill needs at least 50 of the Senate’s 52 Republican senators to vote for it, but several Republican senators have publicly expressed disapproval of the bill. Five GOP senators – four conservatives and a moderate – have said they oppose the measure McConnell unveiled last week.
In subsequent tweets, Collins specifically pointed out the CBO’s analysis on people losing insurance, Medicaid cuts, and access to health care in rural areas. “I can not support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans”, said Heller.
“The House bill was extremely problematic in how it thought about markets”, said Amanda Starc, associate professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
SHAPIRO: And this bill would not only roll back the Affordable Care Act.
Like the House version, the Senate proposal would phase out Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid and change the program’s funding from an open-ended entitlement to a fixed budget.
The AMA said it was especially concerned with a proposal to put the Medicaid healthcare programme for the poor on a budget, saying this could “fail to take into account unanticipated costs of new medical innovations or the fiscal impact of public health epidemics, such as the crisis of opioid abuse now ravaging our nation”.