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 BarrassoTrump privately calls Mattis ‘Moderate Dog’: report Push to change wildlife act sparks lobbying blitz House and Senate negotiators reach agreement on water infrastructure bill MORE (R-Wyo.) is asking congressional scorekeepers to analyze the cost of Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersProtecting democracy requires action from all of us Kavanaugh hires attorney amid sexual assault allegations: report Amazon probes allegations of employees leaking data for bribes: report 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.

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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.