CBO scores leaves some Republicans skittish about ACA replacement

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price joined by from left Rep. Cathy Mc Morris Rodgers R-Wash. chair of the Republican Conference Rep. Phil Roe R-Tenn. and Rep. Pat Tiberi R-Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washingt

But the ObamaCare replacement plan still faces opposition from both moderate Republicans and the party's more conservative factions.

"Step three requires us to believe that the left is going to join us in voting for things that are going to repeal and replace Obamacare", GOP Rep. Raul Labrador, a conservative from Idaho who is a critic of the House legislation, said Thursday.

They also call for changes to the provision that rolls back the expansion of Medicaid, the health coverage program for the poor and the disabled.

Speaking on Fox News, Gary Cohn, director of the White House National Economic Council, said: "We will see what the score is, in fact in the past, the CBO score has really been meaningless". Medicaid covers more than 70 million people, and its future is expected to be a central issue in the Senate.

"Now, we could wait for six months or a year, and let it happen", Trump said.

The Trump administration's criticisms of the CBO are unusual. That's one vote shy of what would have been needed to deal a damaging and embarrassing - but not fatal - setback to the party's showpiece legislation. The CBO's current director, Kevin Hall, was appointed by Republicans in 2015.

He also slammed the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, calling it a "dead healthcare plan" that wouldn't survive the next year without "massive subsidies". But counting those enrollees as well, sign-ups approach 13 million people.

Trump, after a meeting with members of the Republican Study Committee, said he wanted "everyone to know I'm 100 percent behind" the GOP plan.

The president griped that the media was not reporting fairly on the bill. It also found that in 2026, a total of 52 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million under current law.

The House bill would create new, leaner tax credits for health insurance, cap federal spending on Medicaid for low-income people and reverse tax increases on wealthy Americans used to finance Obama's statute.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Monday that 14 million Americans would lose medical insurance next year under the Republican plan.

Adriana Kohler with Texans Care for Children, an advocacy group based in Austin, says Texas already leaves too many people without care.

"You know why? Because this isn't a government mandate", Ryan told NBC's Meet the Press.

Rep. Leonard Lance, New Jersey Republican, said he can not vote for a plan that won't make it through the Senate, where Republicans are mulling ways to soften the edges of the plan.

The conservative Freedom Caucus, which consists of about 40 House members, is still not on board, per a tweet Friday. House Republicans were holding an early evening closed-door meeting at which leaders were hoping to firm up support. "This legislation that the speaker's brought forward doesn't do that".

"Now that we have our score. we can make some necessary improvements and refinements to the bill", he said, referring to the CBO's estimate of the effect on the number of those covered by health insurance and what the GOP proposal would cost.

Laura Polacheck, communications director for AARP Utah, said the plan would shorten the life of Medicare, raise insurance costs for those who can least afford it and put seniors' ability to live independently at risk - all while giving tax breaks to drug and insurance companies.

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