Healthcare bill appears dead after CBO says it would leave millions uninsured

September 25, 2017, 7:24pm

The CBO projected Monday that the Republicans’ latest attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare would leave millions of Americans uninsured — prompting one conservative lawmaker to effectively kill the bill as it stands.

Moments after the CBO score was released, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine tweeted a statement saying she is opposing the bill because it would make “sweeping” changes to Medicaid, weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and leave tens of millions of Americans without coverage.

That last no was what Democrats needed to kill the bill — Republicans can only afford two defections and both Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky have stated their opposition.

The CBO found that the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill would cause “millions” of people to lose comprehensive healthcare coverage, cautioning that the full effect was still unclear because of the short window of time it had to review the legislation.

“The number of people with comprehensive health insurance that covers high-cost medical events would be reduced by millions compared with the baseline projections for each year during the decade, CBO and JCT estimate,” the report stated. “That number could vary widely depending on how states implemented the legislation, although the direction of the effect is clear.”

In the next decade, the CBO predicted, the bill would reduce the federal deficit by $133 billion, enabling Republicans to take advantage of a budgetary rule that would allow them to circumvent a Democratic filibuster.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana submitted the revised version of the bill Monday, adding funding to several states — including Maine. Still, Sen. Collins bucked her own party to oppose, just as she did with the last attempt to repeal Obamacare in July.