UPDATE: As the Washington Post reports, Graham-Cassidy is pretty well dead:
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), who had been overseeing a raucous hearing on the proposal, said Monday evening that he would only allow one more round of questions given the bill’s predicament.
“Let’s face it, we’re not getting anywhere,” he remarked.
Senate Republicans have managed to unite virtually the entire healthcare industry in opposition to their latest Obamacare repeal attempt. On Monday afternoon, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced its initial review of the Graham-Cassidy legislation at about the same time that Maine Sen. Susan Collins voiced her intention to vote no on the bill.
The decision by Sen. Collins is the proverbial nail in this coffin. And as National Public Radio (NPR) reports, the CBO’s new partial analysis of Graham-Cassidy gives Collins and other dissenters good reason to say “NO”:
The proposal the Senate is considering that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will result in millions losing health insurance and a $133 billion reduction in the deficit by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the Graham-Cassidy legislation.
The CBO did not have enough time to estimate specifically how many people’s insurance would be affected as they have done when they have scored previous repeal bills. But, the analysis it released Monday evening says, “the number of people with comprehensive health insurance that covers high-cost medical events would be reduced by millions” compared to current law. [Pols emphasis]…
…CBO says it can’t do a complete analysis of the plan in the short window requested by lawmakers. Senate Republicans are looking to vote on the bill this week, before a deadline at the end of September would require they get support from Democrats to be able to pass the legislation.
Earlier proposals to overhaul the health care system failed in part because the CBO analyses showed tens of millions of people were likely to lose insurance coverage because of the proposed changes. The major drivers of those losses, according to the CBO, were the loss of the individual mandate that requires people to buy insurance and the rollback of the expansion of Medicaid that was allowed under Obamacare.
The latest proposal includes both provisions, so some analysts say the results will be the same.
Senate leadership is still trying to figure out what to do with Graham-Cassidy, but Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said this afternoon that he doubted there would even be a floor vote on the legislation.