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 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 (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 GrahamGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration We are running out of time to protect Dreamers US trade deficit rises on record imports from China 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 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.) 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.