The Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the Senate bill Monday, reporting that 22 million Americans would lose health coverage by 2026. The estimated growth in the number of uninsured Americans is slightly lower under the Senate plan than the bill that passed the House last month, which the CBO said would lead to 23 million fewer covered in 2026.
The Senate's health care bill was released on Thursday but notably lacked any mechanism to nudge people toward buying insurance. So Republican senators like Susan Collins and Dean Heller who said they could not vote for a bill that would deny "tens of millions of Americans" health coverage have no particular reason to prefer this bill more than its "mean" House counterpart.
If enacted, the Senate legislation would reduce the federal deficit by $321 billion over the next 10 years. "Not easy! Perhaps just let OCare crash & burn!"
Jen McGowan, associate director of the Chicago chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said Medicaid cuts in the proposal would hurt the hundreds of thousands of people in IL who suffer from mental health or substance abuse problems, and are enrolled in coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
"So far the Senate leadership is not negotiating with our office", Paul said in an interview on CNN's "Newsroom". Tax credits and subsidies would be reduced by $408 billion for non-group health insurance, making coverage dramatically more expensive for vulnerable populations, including the poor and the elderly.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer criticized the Republican plan as "devastating for the middle class", and said he thinks Republicans have at best even odds of being able to pass the bill. Collins tweeted that the "CBO analysis shows Senate bill won't... fix the flaws in [the Affordable Care Act]".
Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders has criticised the proposed bill and said that lives were at stake if it passes.
The report puts Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in a tougher position as he negotiates with both conservative and moderate Republican senators opposed to the plan. The Senate must not rush legislation that would throw them into peril. With Republicans holding a 52-48 edge in the Senate, McConnell can only afford to lose two votes and still have Vice President Mike Pence break a tie. Under Obamacare, those who do not purchase healthcare are levied a tax and many Americans have to pay high deductibles. A portion of that revenue is lost because certain provisions to encourage health coverage (such as tax penalties imposed on those going without health coverage) would be repealed.