A day after a Congressional Budget Office released a report that said the number of uninsured would surge within the decade by 24 million under the GOP health plan, at least a dozen Republican senators warned that the bill would not become law without major policy changes.
The Wall Street Journal reported that some senators who’ve remained tight-lipped about the legislation raised concerns. The paper reported that about a dozen senators have signaled concerns about the law. Losing more than two senators—presuming Democratic senators vote down party line—would kill the bill.
“This is difficult—it’s 18 percent of the economy,” Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., said. “My concern is not with the timeline; my concern is doing it right.”
Tom Price, the Health and Human Services secretary, downplayed the CBO report and said, “we disagree strenuously with the report that was put out. It’s just not believable is what we would suggest.”
Republicans are appearing to overlook President Trump’s promise to deliver “insurance for everybody,” which the CBO makes clear will not happen if the legislation becomes law. Democrats are assailing Republicans for “attacking the messenger,” seeming to forget all the times they assailed the budget office themselves.
The GOP legislation would use tax credits to help consumers buy health coverage, expand health savings accounts, phase out an expansion of Medicaid and cap that program for the future, end some requirements for health plans under Obama's law, and scrap a number of taxes.
“We’re keeping this bill intact. We’re obviously going to make some modifications,” Speaker Paul Ryan said on Fox News Tuesday, noting that senators would be able to amend the bill.
The Associated Press contributed to this report