CBO report rips GOP health bill

Capitol Building Health Care

"This means many small firms would close up shop while others would never get off the ground", said John Arensmeyer, founder of Small Business Majority, which represents 55,000 small businesses.

Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) said GOP leadership has spent significant time gathering a variety of opinions and that it is time to write a bill.

Height analyst Stefanie Miller believes the CBO's scoring will not hinder Republican efforts to move the bill through to the President's desk.

Enactment of the House health care plan would affect most Wisconsinites, according to a new report by the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families; the report was released in advance of the CBO score. But there are diverse opinions and priorities among that group, and senators are well aware that the legislation must have nearly universal appeal. "I don't know", she said.

Public opposition to the American Health Care Act is growing, with the latest Quinnipiac University poll showing 57 percent of voters disapprove of the GOP-crafted bill, which passed in the House by the slimmest of margins. "To say, what are we doing to people here, particularly to our most vulnerable or those that don't have the wherewithal?" Or, if you're Speaker Paul Ryan, you just ignore all the stuff that was really bad and focus on the sliver where it was positive: "What I'm encouraged by is ... the CBO says we're going to be able to drop premiums".

Most of those losing coverage would be beneficiaries of Medicaid, the health care program for poor and disabled people, though people buying individual policies or getting coverage at work would also become uninsured. ".I can not support a plan that results in 14 million people losing health care coverage next year, cuts $834 billion from Medicaid, significantly reduces the critical subsidies that tens of thousands of West Virginians rely on and ultimately reduces health care access for thousands more". The Congressional Budget Office announced yesterday Wednesday that 23 million people would lose insurance under the proposed health care bill and that premiums for seriously ill people would rise. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), whose state also expanded Medicaid.

Is it any wonder that GOP leaders jammed this bill through the House before the analysis was completed? Almost a fourth of these women gained access to health insurance for the first time as a result of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that passed in 2010.

But writing legislation that can pass with only Republican votes has proven agonizing.

Many people in states that under the bill could permit slimmer benefits and higher premiums for customers with pre-existing conditions "would face substantial increases in their out-of-pocket costs", the report said.

Others, especially senators who come from states that accepted the ACA's expansion of Medicaid, object to the House bill's phasing out of that expansion.

Rep. Mark Meadows - the North Carolina Republican who has been front-and-center during this year's debate on plans to repeal and replace Obamacare - cried after seeing the analysis from the Congressional Budget Office, multiple websites have reported. All Democrats seem likely to oppose the bill, and Vice President Mike Pence could break a 50-50 tie.

The Senate, while working on its version of the bill, will look for ways to lower premiums, as that's the major concern with the healthcare law, Barrasso said.

"The Senate bill is going to be the Senate bill", he said.

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