Celebration for passing a bill may have been premature

With a White House eager to claim legislative victory, there was a celebratory bash after the Republican led House passed the AHCA by a squeaker of margins 217 to 213. The bill has been vilified by several advocacy groups like the AMA, American Cancer Society and AARP and it has still not been scored by the Congressional Budget Office. The bill is also dead in the water in the Senate “once it gets sent there.”

Wait a minute, the last sentence said “once it gets sent there.” To the surprise of some Republican House members, the AHCA bill has not yet been sent to the Senate. Why, you might ask? Since the House did not wait for the CBO to score the cost and impact of the bill on the numbers of uninsured, it cannot be included in the budgeting process, and would thus require 60 votes, not 51 to pass in the Senate. The whole idea was to sneak the bill through this process, so it did not need the super-majority of 60 votes, which it cannot achieve.

Unless the CBO scores this where it saves a threshold amount of the budget, it may not qualify. So, the House leadership has not yet sent the AHCA to the Senate. If they did and the CBO results were not favorable, the House would have to start over. Again, I should reiterate that this bill cannot get even the 51 votes needed due to the impact on Medicaid. As we speak, about two dozen state governors are beseeching the Senate about not harming Medicaid. Unlike the House, the Senate is actually listening.

So, the victory lap on mile 250 of the Indy 500, may have been premature. Voting on something without knowing its impact is not the wisest course of action and is unbecoming of a legislator we trust to do our homework.



17 thoughts on “Celebration for passing a bill may have been premature

    • Janis, to your point, we have a poverty problem in our country and the GOP answer is to give a tax break to rich people and kick poor people off healthcare. Keith

  1. Good analysis … it was, indeed, a hollow victory, and a victory in name only. It was shoved through by bullying tactics, and every member of the House with a brain knew it stood zero chance in the Senate. I think that is why they shrugged their shoulders and said, “Oh what the heck … vote for the damn thing to shut Trump & Ryan up … it will never go any further anyway.” Annnndd … I think they figure there is enough time between now and November 2018 that the public will forget how they undermined us. On that, they may well be right … people seem to have short memories and live in the moment. But the sad thing is that it shows what we already surmised … members of Congress care very little about standing up for We The People.

    • Jill, what frustrates me is if they would work with Dems, they could make data based improvements to the ACA. Even still, the public is largely unaware of the role the GOP has played in making costs even more. Most substantive changes like the ACA are routinely improved. Social Security has had a number of such improvements since its inception. Keith

      • I agree! And I was reading a recent survey that said some … I think it was around 80% of people in both parties … would prefer to keep and amend ACA rather than start over. It makes sense … do you want to trade the almost-paid-for car that only needs new brakes for a brand new one with $500 a month payments? But alas … Trump must have HIS name on everything, and ACA will always be known as Obamacare. 🙂

    • Agreed. It was indeed poor stewardship. As someone concerned about the debt, I find my former party to only provide lip service to addressing the debt and often consider changes that increase it like the proposed tax plan.

  2. Dear Keith.
    Now I can’t wait for those CBO numbers because I suspect that the numbers will not be what the republicans want to hear. And if it remains at the House level, I doubt that it will get passed again.
    Ciao, Gronda

    • Gronda, I think the CBO is taking their time to get this as accurate as possible to stand up to scrutiny. I think you are right if the ruling is unfavorable. Keith

  3. Note to Readers: The CBO has scored the AHCA bill three weeks after it passed. It would increase the uninsured by 23 million and only save $119 Billion over ten years. It would hammer the older folks under age 65 and the sickest among us. Plus, the CBO said it would drive up costs due to poor coverage in states that do not buy into the essential benefits. What was the celebration about?

    Today, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said he may have a hard time getting 50 votes, but still refuses to work with the Democrats. Note to Mitch – you might want to listen to Americans, the majority of whom say keep and improve the ACA. You might want to stop sabatoging it as well and tell the President to do the same. You ate screwing Americans with even higher premiums to win an argument.

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