House, Senate Republicans at Odds Over Blistering Trumpcare CBO Score, Where to go From Here

by Joan McCarter –

House Republicans are in full denial over how bad the Congressional Budget Office score of Zombie Trumpcare was for them, insisting that the CBO doesn’t know what it’s talking about. Senate Republicans, meanwhile, are at great pains to promise that their bill won’t be as awful as the CBO score says the House bill is. Here, for example, is Rep. Mark Meadows, the lead maniac in the Freedom Caucus.

“Some of their assumptions appear not to be backed up by real analysis, specifically as it relates to obviously the number of people uninsured,” he said. […]“What was probably disappointing is that it was long on rhetoric and short on support of where that rhetoric came from,” Meadows told reporters Thursday.

Economic analysis=rhetoric if you are a Republican. Or, if you’re Speaker Paul Ryan, you just ignore all the stuff that was really bad and focus on the sliver where it was positive: “What I’m encouraged by is … the CBO says we’re going to be able to drop premiums. We’re going to give states like Wisconsin the ability to drive premiums down.” If you only count the young, healthy people, that’s true. It’s everybody else—the 27 percent of us with pre-existing conditions that would drive us out of the individual market without the protections of Obamacare—who wouldn’t be able to afford insurance anymore.

And that is a problem for plenty of Republicans over on the Senate side of Capitol Hill.

“You’ve got to be able to provide insurance to the people that are really worried about their families, that we’re not going to dump anybody out of insurance because let’s face it: Congress did this to people. They created a healthcare plan that is not functioning,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.).“I think we need to be instructed by [the score],” said Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) “If states have a lot of flexibilities, those with preexisting conditions may not be able to get coverage, or maternity benefits may not covered.”

That leaves Senate Republicans struggling to find consensus. They do feel the need to fulfill their promise to protect people with pre-existing conditions, and do believe in the CBO score. But they still have to get to 50 votes one way or another and the few weeks of meetings they’ve been having on it have yet to produce anything. It’s not stopping them, though.

While senators are off having a Memorial Day recess, they’ve tasked committee staff with writing something, even though they haven’t been able to reach agreement on the main sticking points. Like how to deal with Medicaid expansion, how to deal with pre-existing conditions, how to keep other consumer protections. In other words, everything. Once they do get agreement on all that, if they do, it has to go back to the House, where the maniacs are in charge and the speaker is in denial. They’re not even a third of the way there. It’s going to be a long, complicated summer.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos