GOP on Damage Control Over 'Awful' Health Bill Score

Paul Ryan points out the good bits
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2017 5:42 AM CDT
Updated Mar 14, 2017 6:31 AM CDT
GOP on Damage Control Over 'Awful' Health Bill Score
House Speaker Paul Ryan, center, standing with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, right, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, speaks during a news conference on the bill.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The Republican Party was on damage control Monday after the release of a Congressional Budget Office report warning that 14 million people would lose coverage under the House's plan to replace ObamaCare, Politico reports. As some moderates backed away from the plan, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said White House officials "strenuously disagree" with the "not believable" CBO report, which predicts that 24 million fewer Americans will have health insurance a decade from now if the House health care plan replaces the Affordable Care Act. A roundup of coverage:

  • House Speaker Paul Ryan went for a glass-half-full approach and highlighted the report's prediction of a smaller deficit, the Washington Post reports. The bill is about "giving people more choices and better access to a plan they want and can afford," Ryan said. "When people have more choices, costs go down."

  • Top Republicans showed no sign of backing away from the bill after the report, though some GOP senators expressed deep misgivings, the Hill reports. Sen. Bill Cassidy called the CBO score "awful," while others said they would wait for the House's final version. Sen. Lindsey Graham said the chamber would work to improve the House product, not reject it.
  • Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi held a joint press conference and called for the House bill to be dumped, the Guardian reports. "In terms of insurance coverage it's immoral, in terms of giving money to the rich at the expense of working families it is indecent and wrong," Pelosi said.
  • House Republican Rob Wittman said he's opposing the House bill because of the CBO report. "It is clear that this bill is not consistent with the repeal and replace principles for which I stand," he said in a statement posted on Facebook. "I do not think this bill will do what is necessary for the short and long-term best interests of Virginians and therefore, I must oppose it."
  • The New York Times takes a look at the report's findings and at who will be most affected by the House health bill. Those most likely to lose health insurance under the plan are low-income people without children who gained Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Vox has six charts explaining the CBO report, which it describes as "devastating" for the GOP health care plan.
(More American Health Care Act stories.)

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