Health and Science

A vote on GOP's Obamacare replacement will come before Congressional Budget Office projects its impact

Key Points
  • Republican leaders hope to hold a vote on the bill as early as Thursday
  • Earlier plans for a vote were dashed because of lack of enough support in the GOP caucus.
  • Premiums for individual health plans were projected to be 15 to 20 percent higher under the original bill.
Rep. Upton: Health bill 'likely now to pass' in the House
Rep. Upton: Health bill 'likely now to pass' in the House

CBO scores? We don't need no stinkin' CBO scores!

Republicans aim to pull off a vote on their controversial Obamacare replacement bill in the House on Thursday, before the revised legislation is fully analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office.

"We're going tomorrow, yes we are," House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday. He added that he believes Republicans have the votes for passage.

That dash to get the bill out of the House and over to the Senate likely reflects an expectation that the CBO would, for the second time in as many months, offer a grim outlook on the effects of the bill.

In March, when it analyzed an earlier version of the bill, the nonpartisan CBO found that it would result in 24 million more people becoming uninsured by 2026 than would be the case if Obamacare remained intact as is.

The CBO also estimated that premiums for individual health plans next year and in 2019 would on average be 15 to 20 percent higher than what they would be under Obamacare.

However, since then, a series of revisions were made, and the CBO has not analyzed the bill with those changes.

The latest revisions would potentially affect how much people with pre-existing health conditions are charged for their insurance coverage.

Republican leaders, who so far have held off holding a vote because they have been unable garner enough support for it within their own caucus, now believe they are close to securing enough "yes" votes.

The CBO told House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, whose party is in the minority in the House and Senate, that an updated analysis of the bill is not coming this week, reported.

Pelosi issued a statement saying that no vote on "Trumpcare" should take place without an updated CBO score.

"Republicans are clearly terrified of their members and the American people seeing the full consequences of their plan to gut critical protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions," Pelosi said.

"As then-Ranking Member Paul Ryan wrote to the director of the CBO in 2009, 'Before Congress changes health care as the American people know it, we must know the likely consequences' of the legislation," Pelosi said.

"Democrats wholeheartedly agreed, and at every point in the process of passing the Affordable Care Act, we ensured an up-to-date CBO estimate was available for the legislation being voted on. Now, House Republicans are hoping to bring the latest version of Trumpcare to the Floor before the CBO can reveal its catastrophic impacts on millions of American families."

She added, "The American people have a right to know the full consequences of Trumpcare before their representatives vote on it."