Things are less certain than ever for ObamaCare’s replacement legislation in the Senate as many Republican members are expressing increasing hesitancy in supporting it.
On Fox News, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.) said the bill needed work before he would support it, saying that it would “subsidize the profit of insurance companies.”
But the biggest obstacle may be that it hasn’t been “scored” yet by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), meaning there is no official estimate yet of the cost of the bill and how it will impact coverage.
The first bill – which never made it to the floor for a vote – was calculated by the CBO to have resulted in potentially 24 million people not having coverage within ten years.
Arizona Sen. John McCain said he “does not approve” of the decision to vote without a CBO score. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) agreed.
A bill — finalized yesterday, has not been scored, amendments not allowed, and 3 hours final debate — should be viewed with caution.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 4, 2017
Meanwhile, Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri said that the Senate will wait until a score from the CBO, The Hill reports.
“The Senate’s going to have to have the kind of score they need to move this forward and the Senate’s going to be looking at this to see what we can do to take the House work, look at what the House did, look at what we can do to improve that in our view,” Blunt told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, another Republican, suggested that the Senate was required “by law” to wait for a CBO score before voting.
The CBO’s initial estimate, before the first bill was tabled, spooked many lawmakers in the upper chamber.
“You can’t sugarcoat it,” Cassidy told Fox News when explaining that “it’s an very bad score.”
Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said that Trump’s healthcare bill that passed today on a party-line vote “is atrocious and must be defeated” in the Senate. “They have promised to make change but it’s a much more hard thing when you have power,” Borick said.