Senator asks for CBO score of Sanders's single-payer bill

Senator asks for CBO score of Sanders's single-payer bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenators target 'gag clauses' that hide potential savings on prescriptions USPTO needs to be forced to do its job and reject bad patents Senate Dems propose tax cut rollback to pay for infrastructure MORE (R-Wyo.) is asking congressional scorekeepers to analyze the cost of Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersAnti-abortion Dem wins primary fight Lipinski holds slim lead in tough Illinois primary fight Overnight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps MORE’s (I-Vt.) “Medicare for all” bill, which could fuel Republican attacks that a single-payer health-care system would bankrupt the country.

In a letter to the head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Barrasso — the Senate Republican Policy Committee chairman — wrote he was “deeply concerned that Senator Sanders’ Medicare-for-All legislation is not only a government takeover of health care, but would also put financial burdens on the American people that they cannot sustain.”

He cited a 2016 cost estimate from the left-leaning Urban Institute that a previous plan from Sanders would cost $32 trillion over 10 years.

Additionally, Barrasso is seeking an analysis of the economic impact of the bill and a revenue estimate on Sanders’s proposals to finance the new system, which were released in a separate document Wednesday.

Sanders released his “Medicare for all” plan in a large Senate hearing room Wednesday, with nearly 300 attendees and heavy coverage from cable news. The bill has 16 co-sponsors, which is a big turnaround when he introduced a similar bill in 2013 without a single co-sponsor.

But, Democrats aren’t united on the plan, and leadership hasn’t endorsed it. The legislation also doesn’t have a path forward in a GOP-controlled Congress and administration.

President Trump on Thursday slammed Sanders's proposal, calling it a "curse on the U.S.”

"I told Republicans to approve healthcare fast or this would happen. But don't worry, I will veto because I love our country & its people," Trump tweeted.

Meanwhile, a quartet of Republican senators is attempting a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare, unveiling a bill Wednesday that many view as unlikely to pass by the end of the month. Republicans have until Sept. 30 to pass such a bill and still avoid a Democratic filibuster.