Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pushing for a fast analysis of Republicans’ latest attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
In a letter to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, along with the House and Senate budget committees’ respective ranking members John Yarmuth and Bernie Sanders, requested a rundown of the Graham-Cassidy plan’s effect on insurance marketplaces, premium costs, and potential future problems that could result if the bill becomes law.
“A comprehensive CBO analysis is essential before Republicans force a hasty, dangerous vote on what is an extreme and destructive repeal bill,” the lawmakers wrote. “Members of Congress and the American people need to know the full consequences of Graham-Cassidy before any vote.”
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already asked the CBO to expedite the scoring of the bill.
Past attempts to repeal Obamacare saw unfavorable numbers for Republicans, such as lost insurance for tens of millions of Americans. At the time, top Republicans dismissed the nonpartisan CBO as unreliable and often inaccurate.
“The CBO score is never quite right,” Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt said in March. “So there’s plenty of reason to doubt it but who knows what direction is not right.”
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the authors of the new Republican plan, said earlier this year that even if the CBO’s scores are half-right, “that should be cause for concern.”
And the Graham-Cassidy plan faces additional hurdles. If lawmakers want to bypass a potential filibuster through the reconciliation procedure, they have to get everything done by the September 30 deadline. In addition, some Republicans are still on the fence about supporting the plan, while Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has publicly come out against it.
“Graham/Cassidy keeps Obamacare and tells the states to run it,” Paul wrote on Twitter Monday. “No thanks.”