There is speculation in Washington that House leadership might have to work some magic on its health care bill — again.
New reports indicate the bill as passed might run afoul of the complex Senate rules Republicans are using to pass the legislation without any Democratic votes. And if that were to happen, it would probably be because House Republicans rushed their bill through, adding provisions at the very last minute, and passed it without an official analysis of what it would do and cost.
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Depending on what the CBO says, the House might have to change the American Health Care Act and pass it again or even start over, according to Bloomberg.
Experts have wondered if the House bill would work under the Senate's rules, which are supposed to restrict a bill considered under "budget reconciliation" to make sure it affects only federal spending and revenue. If those strict conditions are met, then the Senate can advance a bill with just 50 votes. Republicans are using that process because
Provisions in the bill that affect insurance regulations, for example, have been suspect for a while, according to budget and procedure experts. Those wouldn't seem to affect government spending directly.
But new issues are cropping up on Thursday night, sowing doubts about the Republicans' bid to repeal and replace Obamacare. We won't know for sure until CBO releases its updated report, which is expected next week, and it may prove to be much ado about nothing. But it's worth breaking down the issues, given the stakes.
If the House bill did pass, CBO previously projected that 24 million more Americans would be uninsured and Medicaid spending would be cut by $840 billion over the next decade. If these predictions of procedural problems prove true, the Republican pledge to repeal Obamacare could be in jeopardy.
One issue is pretty simple; the other is more complex. Here goes.