Sen. Bernie Sanders pointed out that if the American Health Care Act does not meet the requirement for the Senate HELP committee to save $1 billion, reconciliation can’t be used to pass the bill, and it will require 60 votes to get through the Senate.
Sanders, “Speaking as the ranking member of the Budget Committee—as you know on the reconciliation, the HELP committee is required to save at least $1 billion. It is very possible that the new bill does not meet that basic requirement because of the high-risk pool and stabilization amendments that were added to the bill. It is possible that, that, in fact, that bill may cost the HELP committee some $28 billion rather than save a billion. And if that’s the case, reconciliation is not a process they can use.”
It may sound like legislative jargon, but this is a big problem for Republicans. The health care bill has to save $1 billion. If it adds to the deficit, as Sen. Sanders suggested that it might, the bill will be effectively dead in the Senate.
There will not be any Democratic votes for The American Health Care Act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is concerned that there might not be 50 Republican votes for health care. Bernie Sanders threw a wrench into the Republican Trumpcare works, and it might be enough to kill the entire bill.