Democratic leaders want full CBO analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill

Democratic leaders want full CBO analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill
© Greg Nash

Democrats on Monday asked the Congressional Budget Office to conduct a full analysis on coverage losses that would result from the latest Senate GOP effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

In a letter sent to the nonpartisan budget office, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmtrak to rename Rochester station after Louise Slaughter Conscience protections for health-care providers should be standard Pension committee must deliver on retirement promise MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif. ) said the public needs a “full understanding of the impact this legislation would have” on Americans.

New legislation from Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators introduced revised version of election cyber bill GOP senators push tougher sentencing for synthetic opioid Dems aim to turn ObamaCare hikes into election weapon MORE (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) would repeal central parts of ObamaCare, including the individual mandate, subsidies to insurers and funding for Medicaid's expansion, and replace them with block grants for states.

Republicans are trying to figure out whether they have enough support to pass the bill before Sept. 30, the deadline for using a budgetary process known as reconciliation that prevents Democrats from filibustering the bill.

Under those rules, the GOP needs a score from the CBO to determine whether the legislation would reduce the budget deficit. But the rules don't require a full analysis. 

The sponsors of the bill believe they are nearing the 51 votes necessary for passage, which would allow Republicans in the Senate at long last to meet their goal of repealing ObamaCare. In the House, Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHouse Republicans grumble about the 'worst process ever' Winners and losers from the .3T omnibus Collins: McConnell has 'kept his commitment' on ObamaCare fix MORE (R-Wis.) has expressed support for the bill.

Democrats have stepped up their public relations game against the bill in recent days, and the demands for a full CBO analysis are an effort to make it more difficult for Republican senators on the fence to back it.

Among other things, the Democrats are asking the CBO to analyze the impacts the bill would have on insurance coverage, premium costs and people with pre-existing conditions. The letter also asked the CBO to analyze how much Medicaid would be cut.  

The Graham-Cassidy bill would allow states to apply for waivers to repeal ObamaCare regulations, including the prohibition against insurers charging sick people higher premiums.

“A comprehensive CBO analysis is essential before Republicans force a hasty, dangerous vote on what is an extreme and destructive repeal bill,” the Democratic leaders wrote.