As Republicans are trying to rush through their final effort to repeal Obamacare, Democratic Congressional leaders along with Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have asked for a full CBO score of the bill.
In a letter provided to PoliticusUSA, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), and Sanders wrote to the Director of the CBO:
Before votes are taken on Graham-Cassidy, the public needs a full understanding of the impact this legislation would have on hard-working families. The legislation creates three different time periods of concern: immediately following enactment in 2018 and 2019, in the period from 2020 to 2026, and after 2027 when funding is dramatically reduced. For each of these time periods Members and the American people should know:
How many people will lose health insurance under the Graham-Cassidy bill?
How much will premiums and out-of-pocket health costs increase, particularly for older Americans?
Will women or Americans with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, diabetes and asthma be negatively impacted?
How much will Medicaid be cut?
How would Graham-Cassidy impact the stability of the insurance marketplaces?
Also, what happens if states fail to reinvent their health systems before Graham-Cassidy eliminates current law? Is two years enough time for states to legislate and implement?
Thus far, every version of Republicans’ effort to repeal and replace the ACA has meant higher health costs, millions of hard-working Americans pushed off coverage, and key protections gutted with devastating consequences for those with pre-existing conditions.
A comprehensive CBO analysis is essential before Republicans force a hasty, dangerous vote on what is an extreme and destructive repeal bill. Members of Congress and the American people need to know the full consequences of Graham-Cassidy before any vote.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has precious few days remaining to get the bill to the floor for a vote. McConnell asked the CBO to quickly score the plan. Democrats are rightly asking for more than the CBO equivalent of some back of the napkin math. They want a full and comprehensive analysis.
When dealing with one-sixth of the US economy, a comprehensive analysis is what everyone should be asking for. Instead, Republicans are trying to jam this bill through Congress with as little information being made available to the public as possible.
If the CBO would take their time scoring the bill, it might put Republicans up against the clock. It was an important move by Democrats not to sit back and wait for the CBO score to come in. The last battle to save Obamacare in 2017 is on, and Democrats aren’t going to allow the bill to be brought to the floor without the facts.
Let the Senate know that you are paying attention by getting involved and signing this petition.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association