UPDATE #2: Colorado Democrats weigh in via Denver7’s Blair Miller:
Two of Colorado’s Democratic members of the House, Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis, voted against the bill, and offered their critiques of the bill again following the CBO score.
“Congress should have found out what the bill did before they passed it,” Polis said. “The nonpartisan analysis reaffirms the danger of the Republican health care plan…It has every day consequences that could be the difference between wellness and sickness or even life and death.”
“The latest analysis from the Congressional Budget Office confirms how detrimental the Republicans’ health care bill is in terms of reducing coverage, reducing essential benefits and allowing for discrimination against those with preexisting conditions,” Perlmutter said.
Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver:
“Trumpcare is bad news for a lot of people, as the CBO has shown yet again,” DeGette said. “If this bill becomes law, it will ration care and put insurance companies back in charge. Millions of people will lose their coverage while the cost for others will go up – including those covered through employer plans. People can expect higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs for skimpy coverage that in many cases won’t include essential services such as maternity care and treatment for mental health and substance abuse. And those over age 50 will pay even more – that is, if they can afford the age tax that this plan would impose.
“President Trump promised that no American would lose health insurance under his plan and that he wouldn’t cut Medicare or Medicaid. This bad bill breaks those promises and spells disaster for countless Americans.”
“The onus is now on the Senate to prevent this damage,” DeGette said. “It was dangerously irresponsible for House Republican leaders to ram this bill through the House for a vote with no CBO score. If Republicans really want to provide better health care for Americans, they should work with Democrats on making improvements to the ACA rather than dismantling or sabotaging it.”
UPDATE: Sen. Cory Gardner says don’t sweat the CBO score, that’s just those wacky House crazies:
The CBO score is regarding the House legislation, and the Senate is currently working on its own legislation to rescue Coloradans from the collapsing healthcare law. Obamacare has driven up costs and made it harder for middle class families to find access to quality and affordable care. Anyone who looks at the current healthcare system will see that Obamacare is not working. The status-quo is unacceptable, and Democrats and Republicans have a responsibility to put politics aside and act.
Okay then! Let’s see Gardner come up with a bill that 1. doesn’t kill as many people and 2. can pass the House.
Moments ago, the Congressional Budget Office released its score of the latest iteration of the American Health Care Act, a.k.a. “Trumpcare,” which passed the U.S. House before the score was released and is now laying heavy on the U.S. Senate.
Its effects can still be measured in, for lack of a better term, dead bodies:
CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have completed an estimate of the direct spending and revenue effects of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017, as passed by the House of Representatives. CBO and JCT estimate that enacting that version of H.R. 1628 would reduce the cumulative federal deficit over the 2017-2026 period by $119 billion. That amount is $32 billion less than the estimated net savings for the version of H.R. 1628 that was posted on the website of the House Committee on Rules on March 22, 2017, incorporating manager’s amendments 4, 5, 24, and 25. (CBO issued a cost estimate for that earlier version of the legislation on March 23, 2017.)
In comparison with the estimates for the previous version of the act, under the House-passed act, the number of people with health insurance would, by CBO and JCT’s estimates, be slightly higher and average premiums for insurance purchased individually—that is, nongroup insurance—would be lower, in part because the insurance, on average, would pay for a smaller proportion of health care costs. In addition, the agencies expect that some people would use the tax credits authorized by the act to purchase policies that would not cover major medical risks and that are not counted as insurance in this cost estimate…
CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under H.R. 1628 than under current law. The increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number projected under current law would reach 19 million in 2020 and 23 million in 2026. In 2026, an estimated 51 million people under age 65 would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.
One of the biggest concerns over the newest version of this legislation is the option by states to waive coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act–allowing red states to dramatically change the rules for pre-existing conditions:
[T]he agencies estimate that about one-sixth of the population resides in areas in which the nongroup market would start to become unstable beginning in 2020. That instability would result from market responses to decisions by some states to waive two provisions of federal law, as would be permitted under H.R. 1628. One type of waiver would allow states to modify the requirements governing essential health benefits (EHBs), which set minimum standards for the benefits that insurance in the nongroup and small-group markets must cover. A second type of waiver would allow insurers to set premiums on the basis of an individual’s health status if the person had not demonstrated continuous coverage; that is, the waiver would eliminate the requirement for what is termed community rating for premiums charged to such people.
You’ll recall that Rep. Mike Coffman, who trended toward support for this legislation right up until the vote, in the end voted no because of a “small percentage” of patients who he said could lose coverage for pre-existing conditions. As the CBO’s estimate shows, that “small percentage” could amount to millions of Americans.
All told, the new legislation is only slightly less harmful to Americans than the last version, and the negative effects are still plenty nightmarish to justify the overwhelming public opposition all polling is showing against the bill. Rep. Coffman may have dodged culpability in this latest version of “Trumpcare,” but most of the Republican caucus in the U.S. House including the other three Colorado Republicans are now saddled with this vote.
And for Sen. Cory Gardner, who is crafting the Senate version of this bill behind closed doors, the stakes just got even higher. Coming up with a plan that isn’t political suicide, but can manage to attract support from the hard-right House Republicans who just approved this disastrous bill, seems like a more impossible task than ever now.