Health Care

CBO Score: Republicans, Democrats react

Brooke Singman

The Congressional Budget Office Wednesday released its long-awaited score on the second Republican plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, the American Health Care Act, which passed the House of Representatives last month.

The CBO estimated that enacting the AHCA into law would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion by 2026, and would also leave at least 23 million more Americans uninsured than under ObamaCare over that same time period.

Democrats criticized House Republican leadership for bringing the updated AHCA to the floor for a vote earlier this month month before getting an updated CBO score to go with it.

“Republicans feared this CBO score so much that they rushed to vote for this bill three weeks ago without even having estimates of how many millions of Americans they would be ripping away health insurance from or how much the bill would cost the middle class and working families,” House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal, D-Mass., said. “This reckless and irresponsible behavior is not how we should be making policy here in Congress.”

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said the CBO score showed that the AHCA offered “higher costs, less coverage."

Moments after the CBO released its findings, the Republican National Committee released a statement slamming the CBO, saying they have “a long track record of being way, way off” in their modeling.

The White House also chimed in from Brussels, saying, "History has proven the CBO to be totally incapable of accurately predicting how healthcare legislation will impact health insurance coverage."

That criticism was echoed by Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., an architect of one of the bill's key amendments, who said the CBO's actuaries were "not prophets."

"I don’t put the same reliance on everything they say," MacArthur told reporters. "They’re trying to answer questions that I think it would be better where they say 'I don’t know.'"

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who led the effort to pass the AHCA, defended the bill, saying that under ObamaCare, “families have no options at all.”

“We are on a rescue mission to bring down the cost of coverage and make sure families have access to affordable care,” Ryan said. “This CBO report confirms that the American Health Care Act achieves our mission: lowering premiums and lowering the deficit. It is another positive step to keeping our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Senate Republicans have indicated that their version of the AHCA will be significantly changed from the House version.

But Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., said that despite the CBO score, “it’s no secret Obamacare is collapsing under its own weight.”

“Families need real relief now from the limited choices and skyrocketing costs of the failed law. Doing nothing is not an option,” Perdue said. “The Senate is working now to build on the efforts in the House to make our health care system more affordable and accessible for everyone.”

But Senate Democrats have vowed to fight the plan every step of the way.

“No wonder Republicans were afraid of the CBO analysis. Trumpcare 2.0 will still force millions of Americans to lose their health insurance, raise premiums, and put critical health care services beyond the reach of hard-working families,” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said. “All of this to give a GOP tax cut to the wealthiest.”

Fox News' Chad Pergram and Mike Emanuel contributed to this report.

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.