Health reform implementation

Ex-CBO head: Voting with no ObamaCare repeal score ‘terrible mistake’


The former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says in a new interview that it’s a “terrible mistake” for lawmakers to vote on revised legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare without a CBO analysis.

“The members will have to explain why they supported something with a range of effects that people aren’t gonna like,” Douglas Elmendorf told Politico.

“At least if they waited for the estimate, they could make further changes to the bill that might respond to concerns,” added Elmendorf, who helmed the CBO under former President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2015.

“To go ahead with a vote before you know the effects of what you’re voting for is a terrible mistake.”

{mosads}Elmendorf added that it is “absurd that Congress would vote on a bill of this importance without having a CBO estimate.”

His remarks came before the House on Thursday holds a high-stakes vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) without an updated CBO analysis.

Republicans for years attacked Democrats, saying they rushed passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.

The latest text of the AHCA emerged late Wednesday, leaving lawmakers without the most up-to-date estimates for making a decision. 

Republicans can only afford 21 defections on the AHCA as no Democrats are expected to vote for it. Eighteen House Republicans currently oppose the bill, according to The Hill’s whip list.

Democrats have voiced concern that lawmakers are voting without a revised CBO score projecting the bill’s cost and influence on insurance rates.

The original version of the AHCA stalled in the lower chamber six weeks ago, with Republican leaders pulling the measure once it became clear it lacked the needed votes to pass.

Tags Barack Obama CBO Congressional Budget Office Healthcare ObamaCare Politics Republicans

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video