Overnight Healthcare: CBO fallout | GOP senators distance themselves from House bill | Trump budget chief blasts score | Schumer says House bill belongs 'in the trash'

Overnight Healthcare: CBO fallout | GOP senators distance themselves from House bill | Trump budget chief blasts score | Schumer says House bill belongs 'in the trash'
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Republicans' ObamaCare replacement bill that passed the House would result in 23 million fewer people with health insurance over 10 years, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in an analysis released Wednesday.

The bill would reduce the deficit by $119 billion over 10 years -- less than the $150 billion reduction the CBO predicted in the previous version of the bill.

The CBO found that a controversial amendment from Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) would have a significant effect. That provision allows states to waive rules governing what an insurance plan must cover, and allows states to let insurers charge people more based on their health.

In states that let insurers charge sick people more, some people with pre-existing conditions would lose coverage because they could not afford the premiums, despite extra funding provided in the bill meant to mitigate that, CBO said.

The Trump administration immediately pushed back on the analysis. Tom Price, Trump's health chief, said the CBO is "wrong again" minutes after it released its score on the healthcare bill. Read more here. http://bit.ly/2rBmptc



GOP senators quickly distanced themselves from the House bill

Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerDems look to use Moore against GOP Senate hearing shows Fed chair nominee acts the part Senate GOP votes to begin debate on tax bill MORE (R-Nev.) -- who was opposed to previous versions of the House bill -- said again Wednesday he is "opposed to the American Health Care Act in its current form."

"The AHCA is a first step, but not the solution; now the Senate is doing its own work to put forth its own ideas that could work for states like Nevada," Heller, considered one of the most vulnerable Republican senators up for reelection next year, said in a statement.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who has offered an alternative bill with GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids Study: ObamaCare bills backed by Collins would lower premiums Right scrambles GOP budget strategy MORE (R-Maine), added, "Congress's focus must be to lower premiums with coverage which passes the Jimmy Kimmel Test. The ACHA does not. I am working with Senate colleagues to do so."

And Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Finance: Trump says shutdown 'could happen' | Ryan, conservatives inch closer to spending deal | Senate approves motion to go to tax conference | Ryan promises 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Senate approves motion to go to tax conference House conservatives, Ryan inch closer toward spending deal MORE (R-Tenn.), who is deeply involved in the Senate's discussions, reiterated after the CBO analysis what he wants in the Senate bill, including lower premiums and giving individuals with pre-existing conditions access to insurance. Click here to read more: http://bit.ly/2qQNyY1

 

Democrats piled on, calling the House bill a 'nightmare'

Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmerica isn't ready to let Sessions off his leash Schumer celebrates New York Giants firing head coach: ‘About time’ GOP should reject the left's pessimism and the deficit trigger MORE (N.Y.) on Wednesday denounced the House-passed healthcare reform bill after an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) showed it would cause millions of Americans to lose health coverage.

"Republicans in Washington and the president should read this report cover to cover, throw their bill in the trash can and begin working with Democrats on a real plan to lower costs for the American people," Schumer said at a press conference held shortly after the CBO released its report.

Standing alongside other members of his caucus such as Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE (I-Vt.), Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayDemocrats turn on Al Franken VA slashes program that helps homeless veterans obtain housing: report The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Wash.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDemocratic senator predicts Franken will resign Thursday Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Lobbying world MORE (D-Ore.), Schumer called the bill "a cancer" on the American healthcare system that would cause "costs to skyrocket," make "coverage unaffordable for those with pre-existing conditions" and kick "millions off their health insurance."

"Unless you're a healthy millionaire, TrumpCare is a nightmare," Schumer said. "This report ought to be the final nail in the coffin of the Republican effort to sabotage our healthcare system." The Hill's Alexander Bolton has the full story here: http://bit.ly/2qhX8jS

 

But Trump's health chief took aim at the CBO's analysis

President Trump's healthcare chief slammed the CBO score of the GOP healthcare bill as "wrong again" minutes after its release on Wednesday, immediately dismissing the conclusion that it would substantially raise premiums for sick people.

"The CBO was wrong when they analyzed ObamaCare's effect on cost and coverage, and they are wrong again," Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said in a statement.

"In reality, Americans are paying more for fewer healthcare choices because of Obamacare, and that's why the Trump Administration is committed to reforming healthcare."

In contrast, House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees House Republican: 'I worry about both sides' of the aisle on DACA Overnight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids MORE (R-Wis.) was quick to defend the score, which he said confirmed "that the American Health Care Act achieves our mission: lowering premiums and lowering the deficit. It is another positive step toward keeping our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare."

Click here to read more: http://bit.ly/2qhJZaH

 

More CBO links:

Five takeaways from the CBO score: http://bit.ly/2rBCI9p

Collins uses CBO score to rip House healthcare bill http://bit.ly/2rShS2Y

Sanders calls GOP healthcare bill a 'disgrace' after CBO score http://bit.ly/2qQH23A

 

McConnell sees tough path to 50 votes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat McConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Brent Budowsky: A plea to Alabama voters MORE (R-Ky.) says he doesn't know how Senate Republicans are going to get enough votes to pass an ObamaCare replacement bill.

"I don't know how we get to 50 [votes] at the moment. But that's the goal," McConnell told Reuters in an interview Wednesday. "And exactly what the composition of that [bill] is I'm not going to speculate about because it serves no purpose."

Senate Republicans have been meeting multiple times a week for most of this month to try to find a path forward on healthcare after the House passed the American Health Care Act three weeks ago.

McConnell's comments came before the CBO's score on the revised House repeal-and-replace bill was released Wednesday afternoon.

Click here to read more: http://bit.ly/2qXSWqL

 

Only ObamaCare insurer in parts of Missouri pulls out of exchanges

About 25 counties in Missouri might have no insurers on the ObamaCare exchanges next year after Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) announced Wednesday it won't participate.

Blue KC cited losses and uncertainty as a reason it decided to exit the individual markets both on and off the exchanges.

The move comes as insurers are deciding whether to offer plans in the ObamaCare marketplaces next year and are asking Congress and the administration for certainty that they'll continue to get crucial payments from the federal government. Read more here. http://bit.ly/2rj5Z9b

 

Anthem reviewing ObamaCare plans

One of the top insurers in ObamaCare's exchanges says it's still reviewing in what capacity it will participate next year.

Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish, speaking at a healthcare conference Wednesday, said uncertainty surrounding the GOP's repeal effort has the company evaluating its footprint on the exchanges for 2018.

Anthem, which currently operates in 14 states, may need to pull back in some markets, Swedish said.

"We would prefer not to extract ourselves if we can get the math to work," he said.

At question is whether the Trump administration will continue ObamaCare's payments to insurers, known as cost-sharing reduction subsidies.

Insurers have threatened to raise premiums or pull out of markets if they don't receive the payments, which reimburse them for offering discounted deductibles to low-income customers. Click here to read more: http://bit.ly/2qdi8fY

Nearly 200 House Democrats on Wednesday signed a letter to President Trump demanding that he continue funding the payments to insurers. More on that here: http://bit.ly/2rjilOy

 

What we're reading

The most devastating paragraph in the CBO report is on pre-existing conditions, Vox writes (Vox)

Some Republicans want to consider funding key ObamaCare payments (CNN)

It doesn't sound like Senate Republicans are anywhere close to a deal on ObamaCare repeal (Huffington Post)

 

State by state

Indiana governor wants some Medicaid recipients to work (Indianapolis Star)

Texas senate resurrects ban on abortion insurance (Austin American-Statesman)

 

In case you missed it from The Hill

Dem lawmakers call for single-payer healthcare: http://bit.ly/2riHvgm

AARP targets five GOP senators: http://bit.ly/2riZHqj

Poll: Majority sees GOP health bill as step backward: http://bit.ly/2qXt26z

SEC charges four in Medicare insider trading scheme http://bit.ly/2qXLig4

 

Join us Tuesday, June 13 for "Prioritizing Patients: A Discussion on Outcomes-Based Care," featuring Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.). Topics of discussion will include steps manufacturers, payers and providers are taking to create a more value-driven healthcare system, the role of Congress in ensuring that a value-driven approach improves patient outcomes, and the intersection of policy and regulation. RSVP Here

 

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