Health-care legislation adopted by House Republicans earlier this month
would leave 23 million more Americans uninsured by 2026 than under current
law, the Congressional Budget Office projected Wednesday only a million
fewer than the estimate for the Houses previous bill.
The nonpartisan agencys finding, which drew immediate fire from Democrats,
patient advocates, health industry officials and some business groups, is
likely to complicate Republicans push to pass a companion bill in the
The new score, which reflects last-minute revisions that Republicans made
to win over several conservative lawmakers and a handful of moderates,
calculates that the American Health Care Act would reduce the federal
deficit by $119 billion between 2017 and 2026. That represents a smaller
reduction than the $150 billion CBO estimated in late March, largely
because House leaders provided more money in their final bill to offset
costs for consumers with expensive medical conditions and included
language that could translate to greater federal spending on health
As Republican senators quickly distanced themselves from the updated
numbers, what became apparent is the difficult balancing act congressional
leaders face as they seek to rewrite large portions of the Affordable Care
Act. Some GOP senators are eager to soften portions of the House bill,
including cuts to entitlement programs and provisions that would allow
insurers in individual states to offer fewer benefits in their health
plans or to charge consumers with costly medical conditions higher
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who did not issue a
statement in response to the new budget score, suggested in an interview
with Reuters on Wednesday that he still harbored doubts over whether his
party could muster enough votes to pass any kind of health-care bill this
I dont know how we get to 50 [votes] at the moment, he said, referring to
a situation in which Vice President Pence would cast the deciding vote.
But thats the goal.
To avoid a filibuster by Democrats, Senate Republicans plan to take the
bill up under budget reconciliation rules which only require a majority
vote but mean the legislation cannot increase the federal deficit within a
10-year window. The Republicans have been working for weeks on their own
health-care bill and emphasize that they do not intend to simply follow
the Houses lead.
Exactly what the composition of [our legislation] is, Im not going to
speculate about because it serves no purpose, McConnell told Reuters.
Some, like Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), said the CBO score would have no
impact on his chambers efforts to write its own bill.
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Bushell, R. & Sheldon, P. (eds),
Wellness and Tourism: Mind, Body, Spirit,
Place, New York: Cognizant Communication Books.
Wellness Tourism: Bibliographic and Webliographic Essay
David P. Dillard