CBO report on AHCA impact coming later in May

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The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will release an updated report on how the American Health Care Act (AHCA) could affect insurance coverage and federal healthcare spending, with the score expected to be released the week of May 22.

The Republican-sponsored replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed the House by a narrow margin on May 4. The CBO had issued two reports on earlier versions of the legislation, estimating it would lead to 24 million more people becoming uninsured by 2026. The version which was approved by the House, however, has not been scored by the CBO.

White House spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders had defended pushing the bill through the House without a CBO report—which had been completed before a vote on the ACA—arguing its state waiver provisions made such an examination too complicated.

“I think even if they were to score it it’s impossible to score a lot of the things that would go into this because it has so many different factors that you simply can’t predict what governors may do in their states, specific conditions that patients may have,” Sanders said in a May 4 press briefing. “So even if it was to be scored, I think it would be impossible to predict how that might actually affect and impact.”

Senate rules require a CBO score before any vote takes place since the legislation is moving through the budget reconciliation process.

Democratic leaders have predicted the new report will be more damaging to the AHCA than those completed in March.

“When the CBO (report) comes out on this, it’s going to be even worse,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, after the House bill was passed.